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Dismal State of Social Sciences in Pakistan

Author(s): S. Akbar Zaidi


Source: Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 37, No. 35 (Aug. 31 - Sep. 6, 2002), pp. 3644-3661
Published by: Economic and Political Weekly
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4412553
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Dismal State of Social Sciences
in Pakistan
This paper attempts to explain and understandthe disnal condition of the social sciences and
social science research in Pakistan. It establishes some encompassing parameters which help
explain why things are the way they are. These include attempts to place the role of Pakistan's
state and its bureaucracy in a certain context, and also delineates on the collapse of
institutionsin Pakistan leading the way for.individuals, rather than institutions, to undertake
and produce research. The dominance and presence of internationaldonors and their roles
with regard to social science research are also discussed at length. There is no 'communityof
scholars' in Pakistan, nor any social science professional association to speak of The paper
argues that with current trends in the academic community,the future for social science and
social science research in Pakistan looks even more bleak.
S AKBARZAIDI

is any agreementandconsensusamongst InternationalRelations, Demography,


Introduction Pakistanisocial scientists, it is that the PakistanStudies,and whatare knownas
social sciencesin Pakistanarein a dismal (the different)Area Studies. In termsof
If one were to pose the following stateand,thatthings,if theypossiblycan, number, prominence,power, privilege,
questionto a varietyof Pakistanisocial aregettingfar worse.Whatis it aboutthe influenceandvisibility,economicsdomi-
scientists:"Has any Pakistanisocial Pakistansocial science 'condition'which nates all the social sciences collectively.
scientist,in any of theirfields in the last accountsfor this situation? by a largemultiple.2Forthisreason,there
threedecades,developed,reconstructed, Thisquestion,perhapstostartwith,needs is far greaterpublishedresearchon the
reformulated, expandedupon,disputedor to be answeredwith recourse to some state of economics in Pakistan,on the
rejected,any theoryor theoreticalformu- strandsfromwhatone'cancall a 'political teaching of economics, on institutions
lation,quatheory,or even in the specific economy' approach,or fromwhatwould whereresearchon economicstakesplace,
contextof Pakistan?"the answer would broadlydescribea 'sociology of know- andon economists.In this papertoo, this
probablybea simple'no'.Orperhaps,one, ledge' construct.In orderto addressthis dominanceof economics is reflectedin
or two, or at best three,nameswould be question,we wouldneedto identifysome many places.3
mentionedby some of them, almost al- characteristicsof Pakistan'ssociety, state
ways with many qualifications, from and economy, which would have an im- Establishing Broad Parameters4
amongst the many thousandsof social pacton theproductionandnatureof social
scientistsproducedby Pakistanacrossthe science.Basedon ourreadingof Pakistani As a firstpremiseonecanprobablystate
diversedisciplines.What would be con- society and on discussionswith a large thatgiven thenatureof thePakistanistate,.
tested thoughis whetherindeed, any of numberofsocialscientistsovermanyyears where institutionshave been subverted
these handfulhave actually contributed and also specificallyfor this paper,} we and side-stepped,and where there is a
anythingoriginalin orderto be considered identifysuch characteristicsof Pakistani strongtendencyfor authoritarianism, the
differentfrom the othersocial scientists, society which, in orderto keep the scale groups who hold power over the state
or whetherthey too have merelyrestated andscopeof thispaperwithinmanageable thriveon the state'spowerto offerpatron-
a problem. limits,arenotexplainedinsufficientdegree age and largesse.State patronage,which
Whetherit is in thedisciplineof history, and hence are liable to question,debate ignoresand overridesinstitutions,norms
politics,sociology, anthropology,or even and contestation.Nevertheless,we feel and even legality, and is in a positionto
economics, by far the most dominantof that these assumptionsor claims emerge distributeprivileges, will probablygive
the social sciences in Pakistan,it would fromsomesortof consensusamongstsocial rise to a sycophanticculture,whereindi-
be difficult to find social scientists who scientists in Pakistan, and are largely vidualsandgroups,even those belonging
have made a marked impression even legitimateandvalid.Beforewe layoutthe to some section of the intelligentsia,will
regionally,leave alone globally, on the general premises which form the main appeasethe representatives of the statein
expansionin ideas,theoryandknowledge theme and directionof this paper,some order to benefit fromtits largesse. It is
relatedto theirdisciplines.At best, a few general commentsabout the social sci- improbablethat dissenting individuals,
mayhavemadesomeimpressiveempirical ences need to be made. creativeor otherwise,and those who do
contributions,butlittleelse.Pakistanisocial For the purposesof this paper,in the not 'toe the line', will benefit from the-
scientistscontinueto applytheoreticalar- contextof Pakistan,thebroadgenericterm structuresandinstitutionsof thestate.This
gumentsandconstructsto Pakistanicon- 'the social sciences' specifically include situationis also likelyto breedconformity
ditions,withoutquestioning,debatingor thedisciplinesof PoliticalScience,History, and conservatism,with intellectualsand
commentinguponthetheoryitself.If there Sociology, Economics, Anthropology, theirpursuitscompromisedin theirquest

3644 Economicand PoliticalWeekly August 31, 2002


for power, recognition and acceptance. or after completion of service, lead to a the dominanceof economistsis precisely
Perhapsthe poor quality of output of social prominent - ministerial - position in this, thateconomicsand economistsplay
scientists, particularly in terms of intel- government in Pakistan.The status of even policy relevantroles, unlikepoliticalsci-
lectual pursuit (as opposed to problem- junior staff members of the lending agen- entists,anthropologistshistorians,etc,and
solving) can be explained by this need for cies stands far higher than that of the thatis whyeconomicsdominatesthesocial
social scientists to find acceptance by the 'generalist civil servants, and particularly sciences in Pakistan.In the context of
institutionsand representatives of the state. with regard to that of the domestic expert. Pakistanthereseems to be no researchin
If the state dominates, and if the bureau- For those economists seeking either power the social sciences which expands the
cracy plays a key role in influencing and or recognition, the signals and route are spectrumof knowledge and ideas, and
running society and, importantly, where well defined. For these reasons, perhaps, Pakistanisocial scientistsareprimarilyin
alternative organic institutions (such as there has been "very little space for the the 'businessof giving advice'.1l Unfor-
mass based political parties) do not exist, contribution to the country's economic tunately,thereis no such thingas policy
the roadto power and influence must travel development by economists outside of irrelevantresearchin the social sciences
through the bureaucratic/stateroute. This government[andtheIFIs],especially'thosein in Pakistan.12
seems to be specifically so for economists the universities and research institutes".8 Onegeneralexplanationgiven by some
who are requiredin the Planning Commis- If the acquisition of power, privilege and socialscientistsforthepoorstatusof social
sion, ministry of finance and other gov- wealth throughthe added structureof state science in Pakistanis the lackof a culture
ernment departments to provide advice patronage is the first-premise which may promotingfree floating discussion and
and formulate policy. Over the years, they help explain the state of social science and debate.13 Many social scientists would
have become influential'and powerful particularlyof economics in Pakistan, the arguethatPakistanis an intolerantsociety
members of the state, and still are able to next premise is felt to be social values, madeupof individualswhoarenotwilling
remaineconomists, unlike say, anthropolo- incentives and clear alternatives which to be criticised, and hence, there is no
gists or historians, who if they joined the dissuade budding academics and social traditionof an exchangeof ideas. Some
civil service, would cease to remain rooted scientists to seriously takeup social science linkthisto theabsenceof democracy,even
in their academic disciplines since their as a profession. Teaching is no longer in its symbolic,electioneeringform.The
particular expertise would no longer be considered to be a 'noble' profession as lackof democracyis a favouritewhipping
required for the purposes of 'problem it was in the past, in sections of society horseformanysocialscientists,andwhile
solving'. Not so for economists. which are rapidly upwardly mobi:; and this could be a cause for many of the
If the acquisition of power, and influ- where economic gain and the acquisition problemsfacedby Pakistan,includingthe
ence, and perhaps even prestige, is an of wealth now determine the new set of lack of a vibrantsocial science culture,it
importantgoal for an economist, then the personalandsocial values.9 Membersfrom is aninsufficientexplanationas it does not
career path for such economists will have the elite and from the upwardly mobile explainhow in numerousothercountries,
to be through government. No academic classes who could play an important role authoritarianism anda lackof democracy
economist wields power or much influ- in the establishment of social science as producea thrivingoppositionto govern-
ence in Pakistan.As Naseem demonstrates a profession, are not likely to turn to mentsupportedby anactivesocialscience
in his historical evaluation of the econo- academics as there are few social and community.Significantly,Pakistanlacks
mics profession in Pakistan: "for a variety material returns from investing in such both.
of reasons, the economics profession has professions, especially given an environ- A convincingargument,on whichmost
been dominated by practitioners, initially ment where business administration and academics concur, which explains the
bureaucrats,ratherthan by those who have computer and technology related fields dismal state of the social sciences in
academic and research interests",5 and offer far more lucrative opportunities. Pakistan,is relatedtothemarkedandhighly
that "governmenteconomists and bureau- Perhapsthis is whythere is only one private visible declineof all sortsof institutions,
cratshave generally enjoyed a much higher sector university which has only recently particularly thosein thepublicsector.This
pecking-order than their academic or re- begun to offer undergraduatedegrees in 'crisis of governance' in World Bank
searchcounterpartsin the Pakistaniecono- the social sciences, while there are literally parlance,is manifestin the visibledemise
mists' establishment".6 One must also add hundreds of colleges, universities and of publicsectoreducationaland research
that, given the acknowledgement that the institutes in the private sector which offer institutionsin Pakistan.This theme re-
institutions of the state in Pakistan are degrees in management, information tech- appearson manyoccasions in this paper
highly corrupt, government sector jobs, nology, and medicine. with regardto specific institutionsand
while providing power and prestige, also Added to the above observation about disciplines.A majorconclusionfromdis-
provide opportunitiesfor untold wealth. In incentives, opportunitiesand priorities,and cussionsheld with social scientistsis that
a society which values wealth for itself and with comments made about state patron- most of the social science researchin the
as a means to other goals, this gives added age and the bureaucracy, there is another publicsectorin Pakistanis done by indi-
impetus. aspect which has been expressed by social vidualswho happento be basedthere,and
While the route through the structures scientists in writing- and as part of this not by the institution,as such.14If these
of the state has been the traditional route study. There seems to be an obsession with handfulof individualswho are active in
to power for economists, over the last 'policy relevant' research in Pakistan. researchare placedsomewhereelse, they
decade or so, the route has shifted to the Particularlyfor economists, and not them wouldcontinuedoing researchregardless
international financial institutions, in alone, there is the need to determine what of wherethey happento be; theirformer
particularto theWorldBank andthe IMF.7 role they can play in the 'development of institution,on theotherhand,wouldprob-
Numerous high profile cases in the last the country' and how they can contribute ably have no researchoutputto speakof.
decade suggest thata stint in either of these to the 'country's development'.10 One Institutionsin the publicsectorno longer
two international institutions can, before explanation by other social scientists for provide a base for social scientists to

Economicand PoliticalWeekly August 31, 2002 3645


congregate as they once did three decades the past, many of which have been tur- day muhajirs) who migrated from India to
ago; there is no academic or intellectual bulent and disruptive of steady, evolution- independent Pakistan, and Bengalis.
community. Having said this, however, ary, trends. Pakistan's social and economic formation
there is an important caveat which needs There have been a number of phases in was largely weakly-developed capitalism,
to be added: while individuals are becom- Pakistan's history, each with its unique with the urban population a mere 18 per
ing very important, in some cases even and distinctive features having an impact cent of the population and literacy only 15
bigger than the institution itself, the indi- on the evolution of the social sciences. For per cent. In the discipline of history, the
vidual must be based at an institution. our purposes, perhapsthe first phase 1947- focus of research was on Muslim United
There is no credible category of the free- 58, can be called a phase of the continu- India and the Freedom Movement in a
floating 'independent' research scholar.15 ation of many of the traditions from the nationalistic Islamic guise, on the Muslim
(This theme of the individual/institutional times of pre-independence India, particu- League, and on the period from the early
also appears with regard to other ques- larlywith regardto education andthe social 20th Century up to the Partition of India.
tions, such as links with south Asia, dis- sciences. The next phase from 1958-71 This trend in history continued well into
cussed elsewhere in the text). Interest- can be considered to be one where the the 1960s and even later. What was signi-
ingly, some privatesector anddonor funded military-bureaucraticnexus set the rules ficant in the late 1950s and throughoutthe
research institutions, and some non- for much of the administrativestructureof 1960s was the influence of economic
governmental organisations, may have modem Pakistan,where the huge presence planning andof the Planning Commission,
emerged in recent years to replace the and influence of the US was most visible and of administrative and managerial
public sector institutions as homes for in military, economic, administrative, and concepts related to political science and
research and may in fact, have been able even academic terms. These two phases political administration, a la Barrington'
to 'institutionalise' their research. also constitute the 25 years of United Moore andSamuel Huntingtonandtheirilk.
To summarise then, there are a number Pakistan, a factor having a significant The Pakistan Institute of Development
of encompassing premises or parameters impact on the social sciences in the coun- Economics- (PIDE) set up in Karachi in
through which one should examine the try. The third phase is the first democratic 1957 with the help of the Ford Foundation
state of the social sciences in Pakistan. era in the new Pakistan, from 1971-77, an began conducting research on economics
These are: the patronage role of the state; era which was far freer and liberal, and and in demography and since it was, along
the prominence of the bureaucracyand its perhaps creative, than any we may have with the Planning Commission, the main
power and privilege; social and cultural known. It was not just the ideology and source of employment for 'professional'
values which encourage the acquisition of ethos of the Z A Bhutto regime which economists, attracted the best economists
power, privilege and wealth; an intolerant through its policies left a critical mark on at that time from both -east and west
culture where dissent and debate are dis- the academic environment in Pakistan, but Pakistan.Their focus of research was very
couraged; and, the lack of any effective, also, that this was the formative phase of significantly focused towards solving
working,institutionsto speak of, andhence, the new Pakistan. young Pakistan's numerous economic
outcome and output is based on individual The 1977-88 era marksyet anotherstruc- problems and the Instituteplayed an active
effort and endeavour. tural shift in the political economy and role in giving 'policy relevant' advice. An
evolution of Pakistan with its imprint of interesting differentiation between econo-
I1 the 'Ideology of Pakistan', and the state/ mists drawn to academics and those drawn
FivePhasesof Social public assertion and use of Islam. Without to the policy relevant, problem-solving
ScienceResearch a doubt, this ideological expression had bureaucracy, has been pointed out by
not left a hugely significant impact on its Naseem: "a much higher proportion of
In order to extract some general pre- own'times, but perhaps, redefined Paki- good students from east Pakistan were
mises on which much of our discussion stan once again. Present day Pakistan is inclined towards academic and research
and themes are based in the substantive the legacy of the Zia era, despite having careers than those in west Pakistan, who
part of this paper, we have above, made attempted to break free from this past. The preferred administrative and civil service
recourse to issues related to the state, to period between 1988-99 or even to the and military careers".17 The consequence
society, institutions, structureand culture. present, could be treated as yet another of this difference, according to Naseem,
Now, in this present section, where we significant period in Pakistan's evolution, was expressed when east Pakistan became
need to examine some general and histori- and as we show in subsequent sections, Bangladesh when it was quickly able to
cal trends in the social sciences, we will due more to global and regional changes set up the Bangladesh Institute of Devel-
need to identify key aspects of Pakistan's rather than to national ones, having an opment Studies, unlike Pakistan, where
history which will help us in locating and impact on the social sciences and on re- the "economics profession paid the price
determining these trends. search in all disciplines.16 for the neglect of research and academic
It is not possible to examine the nature In the first two phases following activities as a result of its overemphasis
of social science in any country without Pakistan's creation, research output in the of any zeal for policy-making and planning
.understandingand studying broad trends social sciences was constrained by the functions".18
in the political economy and the history dearth of institutions, such as universities, Pakistan's first 20 years, particularlythe
of that society, even in the case of countries and was largely restricted to the univer- second 10 years, were very heavily influ-
which have followed a somewhat steady sities of the Punjab,Dhaka, and to Karachi, enced by western, and particularly,Ameri-
trajectoryor evolutionary path. However, Pakistan's first capital. It was a-so limited can contacts.19 The Pakistani intelligen-
in the case of Pakistan, it is not possible to the fields of demography,politics, history tsia was very closely linked with the west,
to talk about the social sciences at all, and of course, economics. The composi- and the bureaucracy had close links with
or much else for that matter, without tion of research scholars of that era was Britain and the US. Not only was the
identifying important developments in primarilyUrduspeakingmigrants(the latter curriculum of university courses in politi-

3646 Economic and Political Weekly August 31, 2002


cal science and in economics drawnalmost inequality, some on the rising expression to the government's policy of Islamisation,
exclusively from primarily US and from of different forms of nationalism, on the which was to have major repercussions on
some British texts and sources, but many state, and many other subjects. This was the nature of social transformation in
of the well known western political sci- a highly political and politicised era which Pakistan,was what is called the Gulf Boom.
entistsof thatera,came andworked, taught, had also enlarged its composition to in- Large amounts of remittances from Paki-
and wrote in and on Pakistan. Samuel clude a newly emergentmiddleclass, which stani workers in the Gulf states made their
Huntington, Gunnar Myrdal, Gustav was vocal and had played a key role in the way back to Pakistan and much of this
Papanek,and Ralph Briabanti,to name but movement to bringdemocracy to Pakistan. money,helpedcreatenew andwealthy social
a very few, all had had stints in Pakistan, New colleges and universities were opened groups in dispersed regions across the
either as advisors, or doing research and/ in the public sector to cater to this group country. One of the many manifestations
or teaching, although as one observer has which allowed these social groups to of this newly rich class was the demand
written about economists, "their main acquire education for the first time, and for better education, at all levels. The
interest was of gaining experience in a the policy of nationalisation of education response by the state was not an attempt
developing countrywhich would help-them also contributed in allowing middle and to improve the quality of public sector
rise on the economic ladder at home".20 lower middle income students to go to education, which was in decline, but to
Infact, it is difficult to think of any analysis school. This was an active period of re- allow a private sector parallel system,
in the form of a book produced by any search in the social sciences, when re- particularlyat the higher levels, to emerge.
Pakistanieconomistuntilwell intothe 1960s; search was far freer and open, secular, Pakistan in the post-Zia period is still
all the research in that era was undertaken political, interventionist and activist.22 muchaffected by the majorchangesbrought
by British and American economists. In- With the end of the Bhutto regime, a new about by the military government between
terestingly,as Inayatullahpointsout, unlike Islamic ideology began to dominate every 1977 and 1988 and change since then has
the 1950s and 1960s when a "large number single aspect of Pakistan's existence, and been noticeable but slow. Probably the
of social scientists were importedas teach- social science was, perhaps, at the fore- greatest single change that has come about
ers, advisersand consultants, in [the] 1980s front of this reaction. since the end of the 1980s, which has had
there are very few foreign social scientists As Islam and Islamic ideology became an impact on society and the social sci-
working in Pakistan".21 the hallmark of the Zia regime, we began ences in Pakistan, is that of globalisation
The Ayub Khan government's heavy to see deep structural influences of this in its different forms and manifestations.
dependence on the US, in terms of advice ideology on different aspects of society. Moreover, not surprisingly, the post-So-
and economic and military aid, with ad- Research under the bannerof Islam began viet world has also had an impact on
ditional assistance for education and in- to thrive and there were considerable at- research in Politics, History and the Social
stitutional development from the Ford tempts to recast Pakistan's identity. There Sciences. Yet another importantphenom-
Foundation, and USAID, and with the was a conscious move on partof the military enon in the context of Pakistan is the
presence of the HarvardAdvisory Group, government of General Zia to dislodge highly visible presence of donors and of
meant that not only were American poli- Pakistan from its south Asian roots and to nongovernmental organisations, many of
cies and theories taught, but not surpris- re-orient Pakistan into a Muslim, middle which were involved in research them-
ingly, many Pakistani scholars also deve- and central Asian nexus. A new sense of selves or funded research institutions and
loped their empirical work strongly identity and identification was invented projects.
located in the Anglo-US academic tradi- with Islam playing the pivotal, cementing, Pakistan's economy since the end of the
tion in the political and economic sciences. medium. 1980s, became dependent upon and domi-
Mainly American, and some other western Given the basic premise of the role of nated by the World Bank and the Inter-
political scientists, anthropologists and the state and its power and hegemony over nationalMonetaryFundwho imposed their
management advisors were sitting at the patronage, as discussed above, aspirants advisors and programmes on Pakistan.
heart of academic and administrative to power and higher office in universities Pakistan's economic policies became the
Pakistan, documenting and supporting and in research institutions, began to toe IMF's structuraladjustment programmes,
Pakistan's modernising economic and the line and became part of the Islamic where cuts in the budget and support for
political agenda. 'resurgence'. Economics became 'Islamic the private sector, played a key role. This
Towardstheend ofthe 1960s as it became economics', anthropology,Islamic anthro- then had an impact on education. How-
clear thateast Pakistanwas being discrimi- pology, research in history started focus- ever, significantly, research in economics
nated against, in the eastern province, and ing far more on the Islamic dimension, and was affected considerably by the World
eventually amongstwell established main- the only sort of history which began to be Bank/IMF economic programme. While
stream social scientists, studies and re- promoted was that related to the Pakistan government economists and the various
search began to emerge which showed the Movement and the Muslim Freedom government institutions and departments
extent and nature of this discrimination. struggle in United India. Also, with at- churned out data and reportsjustifying the
Social science research took on a notice- tempts to reinvent Pakistan's 'ideology' in economic policies which all governments
ably political colour, perhaps for the first Islamic terms, much of the research in were following since 1988, therewas some
time, a trend which was to continue till political science and other social science revival of political academics amongst
about 1977. The political revolution which disciplines could not have but been influ- some economists, with some researchers
took place from the late 1960s onwards enced by these important macro trends. arguing against the imposition of struc-
in what was left of United Pakistan had The establishment of the International tural adjustment showing its deleterious
a democratic and leftist colour, which was Islamic University in Islamabad in 1980 consequences. There was never really an
reflected in the type of research being is part of this trend. exchange. of ideas or debate between the
undertaken.Studies were published which A key phenomenon which emerged most government and nongovernmental econo-
showed the extent of income and regional forcefully in the 1980s, though not related mists, but those who carried out research

Economic and Political Weekly August 31, 2002 3647


to show the negative consequences of these rankednearthe top is the consensusthat KarachiandIslamabad,normanygovern-
policies were increasingly listened to by of thePakistaniacademicswhohavemade mentor non-government centresor insti-
the public at large. a nameforthemselves;all, withoutexcep- tutionswhichfeaturein almostanyof my
With the end of the cold war and with tion,havemadethatnamewhilelivingand lists. Clearly, both Baluchistanand the
the demise of the Soviet Union, disciplines workingabroad.In the last 30 yearscer- NWFP do not registeron the'Pakistani
like political science and international tainly,no Pakistanisocial scientistbased social science map. Perhaps the only
relations, changed considerably, also on in Pakistanhas mademuchof an intellec- exceptionis one centreat PeshawarUni-
account of the changing Pakistan-US re- tualcontribution to theirdiscipline.23
This versitywhich has students,some faculty
lationship. In the cold war era, much of is not a recentrevelation,for Inayatullah and also publishespapersand a journal.
the research in these disciplines was con- in the 1980s writes, that "the best work In termsof southAsianconnections,both
cerned with US-Soviet relations and their by Pakistanischolarshas been produced provincesare, literally,far removed,and
impact on the region and on Afghanistan by those living in the west".24a view hence,have few connectionsif any at all,
and Pakistan. Later there was a shift to- shared by Qureishi: "those living and with south Asia.
wards nuclear issues and a continuing workingabroad.havebeen moreprolific It is importantto statethatwhatconsti-
interest on India-Pakistan relations with andmorearticulate becausetheyhavebetter tutessocial sciencein this study,is exclu-
Kashmirbeing the pivotal issue. However, facilitiesandcongenialenvironments".25 sively SocialSciencein English:Urduand
although Kashmir and India have defined While the structuralreasons given here otherlanguageshavebeenexcluded.This
Pakistan's domestic political economy and 'betterfacilities and congenial environ- is likelyto be a contentiousissuefor some
along with Afghanistan, Pakistan's for- ments' may be contested,what is not, is readers,but most social scientists inter-
eign policy, research on the Kashmir/ the supremacy of the diaspora in the viewed for this studysupportthe general
India issue, both in terms of quality and Pakistanisocial science hierarchy. premisethat 'social science' in Pakistan
quantity, does not reflect the centrality of An issue which emerges continuously is only undertakenin English.Almostall
its presence. throughoutthis paper,concernsthe lop- university-leveleducation- professional
With a considerable and sharply grow- sidedregionalcoveragegivento thesocial or general- takes place in English. En-
ing donor influence in Pakistan since the sciences.Themaincentresfortheproduc- glish, hence,is requiredto teach,readand
1990s, much of the researchagenda is now tion of social science researchand teach- understand thesocialsciences,despitethe
determined, if not dominated, by donors, ing are, Islamabad,Karachiand Lahore. fact thatveryfew Pakistanisactuallyread
NGOs and by international themes and WithIslamabadhousingtwo largeuniver- or writeEnglish.This also meansthatwe
issues, not all of which are relevant to sities- theQuaidAzamUniversityandthe havea verynarrowandpointedpyramidal
Pakistan. Not just economists, but politi- International IslamicUniversity-and with educationstructurewhichaccountsfor so
cal scientists, sociologists and others, have governmentanddonorslocatedhere,there few tertiary-levelstudents.
increasingly been working on themes are a number of active NGOs which This does exclude much of the work
propagated by the International Financial undertake 'research',andthereareresearch done in Urdu,Sindhi,Baluchior Brahevi,
Institutionsand other donors, themes such institutionssupportedby governmentand butmanyacademicswouldexcludethese
as governance, decentralisation, local donors.Islamabad, hence,notsurprisingly, worksfornumerousreasons,primarilyfor
government reform, and the like. Foreign is a 'natural'centre for social science it not being 'academic' or researched,
NGOs and other donors fund projects production/output. Karachi,also, has the enough.27 Punjabiand Baluchi do not
with a specific angle and projects which advantageof beingthe old capitalandthe have active and effective scriptsin use,
are far more applied and problem-solving largestcity and has a largepopulationof whilethescriptforPushtois limitedlargely
oriented, than those which have academic students,institutionsandsocial scientists. to a public or newspaper-reading level.
or intellectual ambitions. This means that Lahorehas a long traditionof social sci- Sindhi does have a vibrantand historic
academics are drawn further away from ence andintellectualoutput,andhassome scriptwhich seems to have slowed in its
academic and intellectual pursuits, and of the oldest educationalinstitutionsin developmentas a scriptover the last few
join bureaucrats and donors to 'solve south Asia. Also, since it is the second decades. While there is a large Sindhi
Pakistan's problems'. Another very im- largestcity in Pakistan,with an extensive literature,it seems to be limited to con-
portantaspect of the role and presence of hinterland, it has access to numerous temporarypolitics, literature,poetryand
donors in Pakistan is that they have the students and scholars from aroundthe to information/news. Sindhidoes nothave
money to pay for whatever research they province.Thecase of Baluchistanandthe a dynamicsocial science literatureandat
want done. Funds are short in the public NWFPis differentintermsof structure and best some translationsof articlesfromthe
sector and with far greater opportunities institutionsandone cansee thatin thecase Englishlanguageare available.The case
emergingoutsideacademia,manyresearch- of institutions,authorsor scholars,almost of Urduis similar,thoughnotas bad.Urdu
ers are able to stay on in the public sector none from the NWFP or Baluchistan has also not developed a modernsocial
by supplementing their incomes through featurein the main argumentsregarding science lingua/discourse, although is
consulting for donors and other NGOs, social science research/institutionsin widely used and readmainlyin the form
although very often this does take them Pakistan.This is simply becausethey do of newspapers,magazinesand informa-
away from 'academic' research. not have a presence. In the review of tion,as well as for primaryandsecondary
We conclude this brief history of the journalsor booksundertaken,26 veryfew level educationtexts. It does not have a
social sciences in Pakistan with a number authorsfromthesetwoprovincesappears; social science cultureespeciallyat higher
of points which relate to our paper. The the same can be said about the papers levels of abstraction.However,a number
first relates to Pakistan's academic presented at the Pakistan Society for of attemptsto translateEnglishlanguage
diaspora. Amongst the points of unani- DevelopmentEconomistsdiscussedin a texts in History,PoliticsandInternational
mous agreement amongst social scientists section below. There are no journalsor Relations(and some in Economics)into
in Pakistan, one which must surely be donor-fundedresearchintitti as in Urdu does take place frequently,and it
institutions,

3648 Economic and Political Weekly August 31, 2002


seems, is effective.However,while there institutionsas well. A professorwho was Bank,AsianDevelopmentBank,Interna-
is a very largereadingpublic in Urdu,a interviewedfor this study said that the tional LabourOrganisation,United Na-
largenumberof booksareaboutpolitics, threeseniormostprofessorsin thedepart- tionsDevelopmentProgramme, andUnited
biographies,and histories.Perhapswhat mentwho wereall set to retiretogetherin Nations Children'sFund.
constitutes'socialscience'inUrduis rather a few yearshad,betweenthem,140public- Whiletherearemanythousandsof NGOs
differentand very general,comparedto ations;the restof the facultyof eight,had operatingin Pakistan,perhapsveryfew do
even the not-so-goodoutputproducedin sevenpapersbetweenthem,someof which whatone wouldcall 'research',andsocial
English.Clearly, this is an unresolved, were co-authoredby these professors. science researchwouldbe done by fewer
debatableand even controversial,issue. The main autonomousresearchinsti- still. Some NGOs would probablyreport
tutes, funded by governmentand non- their activities and perhapswrite some-
III governmentsources,includethe follow- thing about their project area, but this
of Social
Institutions ing: at KarachiUniversity,the Applied wouldprobablybe information/documen-
ScienceResearch Economics Research Centre which is tationratherthanresearchedoutput.Also,
fundedby the UniversityGrantsCommis- the scope of the informationor research
This sectionbrieflymentionsa number sion; the Institutefor EducationalDevel- wouldbe highlyfocusedandverynarrow.
of organisationsand institutionswhich opment,of the Aga KhanUniversityalso Thereis also a problemof the dissemina-
havesomethingto do withdataandsocial does researchon genderandon education tion of the research.Many non-govern-
science outputand with researchin the and the Social Policy and Development mentalorganisationsguardtheirworkand
social sciences. Centre,Karachi,a donor-funded(Cana- arenot veryopenaboutwhattheypublish
The governmenthas scores of depart- dianInternational DevelopmentAgency- and about their activities and prefer to
mentswhichcollectanddisseminatelarge CIDA) organisationdoes researchin a workin a low-keymanner.Thedistinction
amountsof data,information andstatistics numberof areasrelatedto the social sec- between informationand researchis re-
relatedto someaspectof whatonecanvery tors. In Islamabad,the PakistanInstitute lated to the purposeof the outputwhich
broadly call 'the social sciences'. No of DevelopmentEconomicsis fundedby will have an impacton the qualityof the
researcher,particularlyin the area of governmentanddoes researchin econom- output/research. If reportsaremeanteither
developmentoreconomics,can ignorethe ics and demography.The Sustainable for internalcirculationor for donorsand
outputof organisationsand departments DevelopmentPolicyInstituteis fundedby for funding,the productwill be focused
such as-the:AgricultureCensus Organi- CIDA as well, and the Mahbubul Haq towardsthe specific requirementsof the
sation;the differentBureau(s)of Statis- HumanDevelopmentCentre,is a private client.If researchor outputis to be widely
tics, at each of the fourprovinces,Sindh, not-for-profit organisation funded by disseminated,then it is probablethatthe
Punjab,NWFPandBaluchistan;the Cen- UNDP. The FriedrichEdbertStiftung is issues, theme and characteristicsof the
tralBoardof Revenue;the large number aGermanorganisation whichcommissions study/researchwill be broaderand could
of publications of thefinancedivision,one research on issues of Governanceand be includedin the categoryof social sci-
of the mainsourcesof informationfor all Decentralisation. TheInstituteof Strategic ence 'research'.One agrees with Haque
economic related data with its annual Studiesis a non-profitsupposedlyautono- and Khan who argue that, "the NGOs
PakistanEconomicSurvey,which is the mousresearchcentreworkingon interna- workingin theeconomicandsocialsectors
biblefor anyonewantingto work on the tional and regionalissues fundedby the havebeenableto attractmanyeconomists
economyorondevelopmentissuesinterms Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while the to workforthem.Almostall thisworkhas
of data and informationprovided. The Instituteof RegionalStudiesproduceswork no serious academicor researchcontent
FederalBureauof Statistics,also one of on numerousissues relatedto a vast re- - infact,it is anti-intellectual
sinceit wants
themajorsourcesof dataandinformation gion,fromcentralandmiddleeasternAsia, immediateanswersto self servingpropo-
on almostall aspectsof the economyand to south-eastAsia. In Peshawar,the Pa- sitions or questions ...".28
society. The State Bank of Pakistanlike kistanAcademyfor RuralDevelopment, Becausethereareno forumswheresuch
the ministryof finance and the finance andthe Instituteof DevelopmentStudies, reportsare reviewed- whetherfor their
division,producesitsAnnualReportwhich NWFP, are governmentfundedresearch methodology,content,style,orscope- the
also has a largeamountof essentiald4ta institutes,bothway pasttheirprime,very outputis likely to be very highly varied.
and increasingly,interestinganalysis on much like the once formidablePunjab SomeNGOsdohirewell-educated,though
the state of Pakistan'seconomy. While EconomicResearchInstitute,at Lahore, untrained,(usuallyyoung, foreignquali-
very muchpartof government,the State and the Sindh Development Centre, fied)socialscientistswho usuallyworkon
Bank likes to consideritself to be inde- JamshoroUniversity,Sindh. their own underlittle academic/research
pendent,and does often commentupon, While not research'institutes'as such, supervision.Becauseof thesefactors,it is
if not directly critique,the ministryof given the overpowering presence and very difficultto generaliseaboutthe out-
finance's position. dominance of donors in Pakistan,and putof NGOs.Havingsaidthat,one cannot
Apartfrom governmentorganisations particularlyof the internationalfinancial also deny the fact that there are some
and departments,there are university institutions,one cannotbutmentionsome organisations whichareproducingresearch
socialsciencedepartments andcentresthat of theirIslamabadoffices.Theseregional/ of betterqualityand also have the desire
also do significantresearch.However,it nationaloffices of these donorsproduce andconfidenceto widelydisseminatetheir
is importantat this pointto assertone of a largearrayof reportsandstudies,some output.Notsurprisingly,however,mostof
ourbasicpremiseselaboratedin anearlier by their own staff and otherswhich are the researchoutputof theseorganisations
section,thatperhaps,it is not the depart- commissioned out and undertakenby is relatedto theirline of workand exper-
ment/institution whichdoes research,but consultants.No researchercan ignorethe tise, and is often project-specific.Most
afewindividuals whohappentobeworking research/studies whichcome out of these NGOs simply provideinformation/docu-
there.This is the case with autonomous organisations.They include, the World mentationrelatedto their own projects

Economicand PoliticalWeekly August 31, 2002 3649


althoughsomeclaimthat'theydoresearch' strongly here. While there are say, well ever, given this dominance, one feels that
and have researched publications and qualified Masters-level political scientists this collaboration is far less than what can
monographswhichsupportthisclaim;yet or anthropologists working in NGOs, they be accomplished.
much of this output is out-sourcedand are not really working as 'social scientists'
undertakenby researchersworkingelse- and may be doing no research. Besides, Journals
where who are paid an honorariumto what goes by the name of 'research' in
contribute-something to the researchout- NGOs is highly questionable. The main theme of this paper has been
put of that particularNGO. that social science in general, and social
Duringthe courseof this study,all the IV science research in particular,in Pakistan,
academicsinterviewedwereaskedto name SocialScienceOutput: is dying a visible death. Perhaps much of
10 of the majoror mainresearchinstitu- BooksandJournals the evidence and information presented in
tions in the country.Not a single scholar various sections of this paper supports this
could come up-witheven 10 names. No Books claim which is unanimously agreed to by
one came up with morethanfive names, almost every single serious social scientist
and four instituteswere more or less on The main publishers of social science in Pakistan. This judgment is made even
everyone's list, with maybe one or two books in Pakistan in English, are Oxford stronger when we consider the state and
addedon by one or two of the scholars; University Press and Vanguard Books. frequency of academic journals in Paki-
somenamestheythemselvesrejectedsince There are a few other publishers, such as stan.
theydidnotinspireanyconfidence.There Sang-e-Meel and Ferozsons who publish This list of 22 'journals' is perhaps the
couldbe no bettertellingcommentaryon social science books in English, but this complete list of journals published in
the stateof social-sciences and on social forms a small percentage of their output Pakistan in the social sciences. It is clear,
science researchin Pakistan. as they publish far more books in Urdu on that of our seven disciplines chosen for
general themes as well. City Press is a analysis, there are no journals dedicated
Number of Social Scientists recently formed independent publishing to political science, anthropology, demog-
house which has published a few books raphy, history (other than Islamic/Muslim
If we estimatethe numberof 'active' in English. The standardof publication for history) or sociology. Most journals are
researchers,fromeach of the disciplines, books varies as much as it does forjournals multidisciplinary, rather than specialist
basedon our own knowledgeaboutpub- and it is difficult to draw any conclusions journals. Also, most importantly,only three
licationsand the state of social sciences, based on titles.29 of these 22 arerefereedjournals.The quality
and add to that commentsand opinions Vanguard Books have reprinteda num- (if that is the right word) of many of the
from those academics interviewed,the ber of books by British colonialists under papers published in Pakistani 'journals'
followingpictureemerges.Theeconomists the Exploring Central Asia and Great suggests, that these papers are not even
interviewedfelt thatthere were between Explorations series, which make up a large internally screened by the editorial com-
250-300economistsin Pakistanrelatedin share of all their books published since mittee of the publication.
some way to economics,either teaching 1995. Sang-e-Meel, have also published It is quite possible that the table above
or doing researchin universities,at some 33 District Gazetteers from the British gives the impression that there is a vibrant
kindof researchinstitute,or with donors times at the turn of the 19/20th centuries, exchange of ideas and the dissemination
andNGOs.Of these,they felt, thatat best 21 of which are published after 1995. In of knowledge and research through these
50, would be considered active social addition they have reprinted 35 books by journals, but the reality could not be farther
scientists/economists involvedinresearch, Britishers of the Raj, on history, explora- from the truth. The last two columns of
the standardsandqualityof whomwould tion and on their impressions and interpre- the table reveal that while some journals
be very variableand perhapsfor some, tations of British India. Seen from have been around for two or three decades
even 'suspect'.Forhistory,thereweresaid Vanguard's and Sang-e-Meel's publica- even, they are now running well behind
to be at most70 historiansof whichseven tion record, British India seems to be a schedule and many have even ceased
weresaidto be active,mostof whomwere favourite topic for publication, but one publication. As an example, if we take two
eitherretiredor workingoutside any in- wonders who the clientele for these books of the three main (only) economic journals
stitution.About80 politicalscientistsare is: it certainly isn't history departments in Pakistan Economic and Social Review,
said to exist of which perhapseight are Pakistan. and the Pakistan Journal of Applied Eco-
active.In international relationstoo, there OxfordUniversityPress hasconcentrated nomics, botharetwo andthreeyears behind
aresaid to be 70 to 80 social scientistsof increasingly on biographies and similar schedule, respectively. Clearly, in a coun-
whom perhaps 15 are doing active re- reminisces and on non-academic books by trywhereeconomics dominates in the social
search.Inall otherdisciplinesin thesocial retired bureaucrats, generals and politi- sciences, this pattern suggests a growing
sciences,the ratiois not morethan10 per cians. City Press has concentrated on and sharp crisis in the field of economics
cent of the total mass of'availablesocial the urban environment, and on books specifically, and in the social sciences,
scientists. largely by one author. Not surprisingly, more generally.
It-isnot easy to estimatethe numberof being a multinational publishing house Journals are less an avenue to deliberate
social scientists working with NGOs in and given very little competition, OUP upon academic issues related to enhancing
Pakistan.If one was to makea guesstimate dominates the publishing business in knowledge related to a particular disci-
about the size of this community,then Pakistan in every sense of the word. This pline, but have become sources for aca-
perhapsthenumberwouldbe no morethan also allows it to attract far more serious demics and scholars located at the host
one hundred,althoughmanyof the quali- scholars from Pakistan and abroad, and institution (of the Journal) to further their
ficationsmentionedabove aboutthe 're- allows far greater collaboration between careers. This we observe in the case of the
search'of NGOs,wouldapplyeven more scholars from different countries. How- PSDE and the Pakistan Development

3650 Economicand Political Weekly August 31, 2002


Review, but is not uncommon elsewhere. Table 1: Pakistani Books in the Social Sciences 1995-2001
Two examples emphasise this trend ad- Area No Details
equately. The Journal of Research: Hu-
manities, from the Bahauddin Zakariya (A) Vanguard Publishers
Pak History 10 3 by a single PakistaniHistorian,3 retiredjudges, 1 UKHistorian
University in Multan, produced one vol- CentralAsia/British 38 A seriesofbooksinVanguard's Exploring CentralandAsiaandGreatExplorations
ume each in 1999 and 2000, comprising India categories, writtenby Britishersin the late 19th-early20th Century
of a single issue both times, each with S A Politicsmainly 7 1 US academic/policyanalyst, 1 US academic, 1 Indianacademic, 1 US
nuclear Pak academic, 2 SA seminars
about 140 pages in all. Of the 20 papers Economics/ 14 .4ConferenceProceedingsbySDPI,2 conferencesbySPDC,6 Pakacademics
in these two issues/volumes, 17 were from Development (1 edited, 4 collections, 1 jointPak academics), 1 WorldBank Pak
the humanities and other social sciences Misc 11 2 on Afghanistan(1 edited Pak, US academics, jrnlsts,1 USacademic),
3 Criminology(retiredjudges, police)3 Sociology/Linguisticsby same author
departmentsof the same university. Karachi
University, one of the two largest univer- (B) Oxford University Press
sities in Pakistan, earlier this year pro- Pak politics 10 6 retdmly/bureaucrats, 1 journalist,1 Pakacademic,1 US developmentworker
duced its Journal of Social Sciences and C Asia, Afghan,Iran 8 2 Pakdiplomats,2 Europeanjrnlsts,1 UKacademic,1 US academic, 1 Iranian
academic, 1 Turkishdiplomat
Humanities. What is important to note, is ForeignPolicy 3 2 Pak diplomats,1 US diplomat
that it took five years for it to do so and Econ/Dev 19 4 Pakacademics,2 Pakacademicsabroad,4 dev workers,3 PakWorldBank/
the inauguralissues is the single 150 page donor,4 edited (2 Pak numerousacademics, 1 Pak on education, 1 S Asian
collaboration,1 Bangladesh/UK/USpapers)
joint Volume I and 2 1996-2000! More- Pak Army 3 2 retdmly, 1 US academic
omer, of the 20 contributions (many of SA History 9 Pak diplomat,Indiandiplomat,Indianjournalist,Pak academic abroad,UK
themjoint papers) as many as 19 are from -Historian,1 jointPak/UKacademics,
Karachi University itself. These are just Pak History 24 9 Pakiacademics in Pak (five PhD dissertations),5 foreignnon-SAsian
two of numerous examples which abound academics, 1 Indianacademic, 3 Pak academics abroad, I Pak politician,2
Pak bureaucrats,1 edited by Pak academic withPak/UScontributions.
in Pakistan which confirm the view-that Law/Constitut 4 AllPak lawyers
what is produced in the name of social Media 2 1 by two UKBBCreporters,1 Pak diplomat
science in Pakistan, is rathersuspect. Next PakCompendiums 5 Allhave dozens of Pakand foreignacademics, jrnlst,diplomats,bureaucrats,
we present some details about the contents contributing.4 edited by Pak (onlyone academic), 1UKjrnlst
Islam 6 2 US/UKacademics, 1 Pak academic abroad, 1 Pak academic, 1 B'gladesh
of five of Pakistan's main journals. academic
Misc 7 2 bysan , Pakacademicson Linguistic,1 on Pakcinemabya Pakfilmmaker,
What Are the Journals 1 anthropologyUKacademic, 1 UK/US/Pak'scholars'on anthropology
Publishing? (C) City Press
UrbanDev/ Housing 15 AllPakistaniwriters;8 by one author,2 by two others, 2 collaboratedbooks
The Pakistan Development Review withPak and UKacademics as conference proceedings,
His of Tech in Pak 1 Retiredbureaucrat/devworker
(PDR) is without much doubt, considered South Asian hist/cul 1 Retiredbureauqrat/dev Muslimmindset
worker(as above);on the pre-partition
to be Pakistan's leading journal in any
discipline. It has an international board of (D) Sang-e-Meel
'History"1
referees which includes Nobel Laureates Gazetteers
35 Reprintsof writingsfromthe BritishRaj,by BritishColonialists
21 DistrictGazetteersfromthe BritishRajat the turnof the 19/20thcenturyof
in Economics, as well as well known regions thatbecame Pakistanand some of whichare in present day Indian
economists. While one does not know for Punjab
sure what role these big names play on the History,Pak 23 7 booksbyone Pakacademichistorian/anthropologist on C AsiaAfghanistan,
and othersubj;5 books by one authoron architecturalhistoryof sites and
Board and whether they are at all active, cities in Pak;others on Pak, SA, Britishhistory,all single authored,many
articles submitted to the PDR are, never- authorshave two books
theless, reviewed by leading social scien- PoliticsPak 7 2 bythreeauthorseach, includingtwoof a Pakhistorianreprinted fromthe west
tists in their fields. This is unlike the case Defence/Mlyst 3 2 by a Pak based academic, the otheralso Pak based academic
of most other journals in Pakistan. More- (E) Ten OUP Edited Volumes Analysed Furtherfor Contributors
over, PDR is not simply restricted to Contributors
Subject
economists, as demographers and other
social scientists also occasionally contrib- ForeignPolicy 29 articles,allsingle-authored.11 Pakacademics, 6 researchers,5 jrnlsts/writers,1
each US, Russian, academic
ute, althougheconomists do heavily domi- Pak Nuclear
nate. The focus of the journal is, almost S Asia and the Policy 5 articles,2 byeditors(PakacademicinUS, USacademic),2 Pakphysicists,1 Pakjrnlst
16 articles,conference proceedings,all butone single-authored;8 academics
exclusively on Pakistan, where more gen- -west Asia fromMEast,2 Pak,1 India;1 Pakresearcher,1 Bangladeshlesearcher, 1 Indianand
eral or theoretical articles seldom appear. Pak jrnlsts
For any social scientist, particularly an Contemporary Fourthvolumeof Pak BriefingSeries preparedwithAmericanInstof Pak Studies;
Pak politics 9 articles,6 US academics, 1 jointPak academics, 1 Pak academic in US, 1 US
economist, they can only ignore the jour- diplomat,1 Pak bureaucrat
nal at their own peril. Partition 13 conferencepapers,6 Pakacademicabroad,4 Indianacademic, 2 UKacademic,
Forour purposes,examining the last five Pak at 50 many 14 single-authoredpapers, 3 Pak lawyers, 1 retdGeneral, 1 retdbureaucrat,3 US
years of the journal, we can see that since Pak disciplines academics, 3 Pak academics abroad, 1 US 1 Pak diplomats
at 50 many 34 newspaperarticles;mainlyIndianand Pakistanijournalists,some othersouthAsian,
its Spring 1995 issue, the Pakistan Deve- a handfulof Pak, Indianacademics.
disciplines
lopment Review has published regularly Pak Education 11 articles,3 WorldBank/UN,2 Pak consultants,5 Pak academics (inc physics,
till its latest issue of Summer 2001, and chemistry)
is on schedule. The PDR is a quarterly Development 7 papers, 5 co-authored(allfive Pak),4 Pak academics, 1 Pakactivist,1 European
one the most academic
journal, although issue, Pak Economyat 50 13 papers, 4 co-authored;all 14 Pak contributors;5 IMF/World Bank/UN,1 Pak
voluminous of the four, is dedicated to the academic abroad,3 Pak business schools, 5 research institutes.
Conference Proceedings of the Pakistan

Economicand PoliticalWeekly August 31, 2002 3651


Societyof DevelopmentEconomistseach Relationsand/orPolitical Science, with 14 articles are by faculty at the Karachi
year- dueto the natureof theConference particularreferenceto south Asia. How- University in the departments of interna-
Proceedings, these issues of PDR are ever, one must emphasisethat most are tional relations, political science and
discussedseparately. mid-levelteachers,andthereareveryfew business studies. Given the severe dearth
Since Spring1995(excludingthe Con- well knownscholarsin theirvariousdis- of journals in Pakistan and particularlyat
ferenceProceedings),72 papershavebeen ciplinescontributingto theJournal.There KarachiUniversity, PakistanPerspectives,
publishedof which22 (30 percent)were are four paperseach by Saudi Arabian in many ways, acts as the in-house journal
published by staff and faculty at the scholars,four by otherscholarsworking for the University. It also has contributions
PakistanInstituteof Development Eco- in and on the west Asia, as well as by from judges, civil servants, human'rights
nomics(PIDE).Mostjournalsin Pakistan scholarsbasedin the US andthe UK, and activists, ambassadors, journalists (13
have this 'in-house' aspect to them and fromNigeria.Also, thereare four papers papers), four papers by Pakistani social
providespaceto theirown faculty.Some from India,and four more from the rest scientists working abroad, as well as by
institutionshavemadethisintoanartform of south Asia. three natural scientists writing on larger
wherealmostall articlesareby facultyof Pakistan Perspectives which startedout social and political issues. There are also
thesamedepartment or institution.Never- only in 1995 from the PakistanStudy five papers by researchers in other private
theless,PDRdoes also have a trulyinter: Centre,Universityof Karachi,is also a and autonomous research organisations.
nationalflavour,unlikeany otherjournal non-refereedbi-annualpublicationwhich One factor which cannot be ignored from
in the social sciences in Pakistanand this differsfromotherjournals.Firstly,it is a the contribution in the Journal, is the fact
helpsmaintainits reputationas Pakistan's trulymultidimensional socialsciencejour- that there are at least four individuals who
best social science journal. Of the 72 nalcoveringtopicsonPakistanwhichrange have contributedthreeor four articleseach,
articles,as manyas 17 werefromscholars from Art to Economics to Literature. in the nine issues so far published.
and professors from abroad, from the Secondly,a majorproportionof the con- The Pakistan Economic and Social
developedworld. The third highest cat- tributionsare from what in Pakistanare Review, housed in the economics depart-
egory was from technocrats,or public called 'independent'researchers,a grow- ment of the University of the Punjab, is
servantsinterestedin doing research,pri- ing and increasinglyinfluentialcategory two years behind schedule and has pub-
marilyin economics- six papersin all. of social scientistsnot directlyassociated lished 54 articles since 1995. Unlike most
Therewerefourpaperseachfromautono- withanyorganisation, yetactivelyinvolved other journals mentioned above, the jour-
mous governmentand independentre- in social science research.Of the 79 ar- nal has almost no contributors from its
search organisations;from international ticles publishedsince 1995,21 areby this own department - only two papers out of
organisationslike the WorldBank, IMF category,and 12 by facultyatthePakistan 54. This is due not to the wide appeal of
and ILO:and four from the International StudyCentreitself. However,as manyas the journal, but rather, reflects upon the
IrrigationManagementInstitute.In terms
of teachinginstitutions,therewere3 papers Table 2: Academic Journals in Pakistan
each from the economics departmentof Title Publisher Freq Year Latest
the Quaide Azam University,and from Started Issue
the International Instituteof IslamicEco- EconomicReview EIPPublications,Karachi M 1976 Jun 2001
nomicsof the InternationalIslamic Uni- IndustrialRelationsJournal EmployersFed of Pak, Karachi Q 1984
versity, both organisations,interestingly IslamicStudies IslamicResearch Institute,Islamabad Q
2001(4)
arelocatedin Islamabad,wherePIDEand 1961
2001 (1)
the journalare also located.There were J of DevelopmentStudies Instituteof DevelopmentStudies, Q
two articleseach from the Agricultural U of Peshawar 1964 1992-93(1)
J of EuropeanStudies AreaStudyCentre, U of Karachi Q 1985 Jul 2000-
Universityof Faisalabadand from the Jan 2001
BahauddinZakariyaUniversity,Multan. J of the Instituteof Bankers Instituteof Bankers,Karachi Q
Inthe72 papers,therewereonly two from 2001 (1)
south Asia, both from India. KashmirEconomicReview Dept of Econ, U of Azad Jammu Q
and Kashmir 1984 1998 (1/2)
Pakistan Horizon is published by the LahoreJ of Economics LahoreSchool of Economics B 1996 2001 (1)
PakistanInstituteof InternationalAffairs MonthlyEconomicLetters NationalBankof Pakistan,Karachi M
(PIIA)fromKarachi.It is a non-refereed 1974 2001
PakistanAdministration PakistanAdministrative StaffCollege, B
publicationandcontainsresearcharticles Lahore 1963. 1996 (2)
aswell asspeechesaudpresentations made PakistanDevelopmentReview PakistanInstitutetf Development Q
at PIIA and elsewhere. Since 1995, 91 Economics,Islamabad 1961 2001 (1/2)
PakistanEconomicand Departmentof Economics,U of Q
articleshave been publishedin Pakistan Social Review the Punjab 1963 1999(1/2)
Horizon,of which in fact, the huge ma- PakistanJ of AgriEcon AgriculturePriceCommission, A
jority - 30 - are addresses and speeches Islamabad 1997 2000
Pak J of AppliedEcon AppliedEconomicsresearch Centre, B
by ambassadorsand mostly foreigndig- U of Karachi 1982 1998 (1/2)
nitariesat the PIIA,andincludefourtexts PakistanPerspectives PakistanStudyCentre,U of Karachi B
of lecturesfromPakistanipoliticians.The 1996 2001 (1)
next categoryis that of researchstaff at South Asian Studies CentreforSA Studies, U of Punjab B 1984 1997 (2)
PakistanHorizon PakistanInstituteof International Q
PIIAitself with 18 papers,buta good sign Affairs,Karachi 2001 (1)
is thattherearealso 18papersby Pakistani RegionalStudies Ins of RegionalStudies Q 2000-01
social scientists at universitiesand col- J of PakistanHistoricalSociety
Journalof Research
leges. The largemajorityof this category (Humanities) BahauddinZakariyaUniversity A 1999
are teachers dealing with International

3652 Economicand PoliticalWeekly August 31, 2002


dismal researchcompetence of the faculty International Islamic University in NGO. This loss is not restricted to the
at the department. Of the 54 papers pub- Islamabad. AERC which may show an exaggerated
lished, the highest number (10) are by form of it, but is also evident at the other
faculty at the economics departmentof the V leadingeconomics researchinstitute,PIDE.
Quaid e Azam University, Islamabad, and
it seems that this journal acts as an in-
Change Transition
and Many of the faculty at PIDE too, have
followed the same path as their colleagues
house journal for research coming out of In order to understand what has been at AERC, with many leaving the country,
here rather than from the Economics going on in institutions of research in the joining international organisations (in
Departmentof the University of the Punjab. social sciences over the last 20 years, we Pakistan and abroad), and with only a
There are nine papers from the smaller, compare two institutions, the Applied couple staying on in Pakistan working for
less prominent teaching and research Economics Research Centre (AERC) at other non-governmental research organi-
departments at four local colleges and the University of Karachi, a government- sations.30 It is also interesting to point out,
universities; eight papers by Pakistani funded institution, and the Sustainable that the Social Policy and Development
researchersabroad, nine from researchers Development and Policy Institute (SDPI) Centre (SPDC) in Karachi (not be con-
atPakistaniresearchinstitutions,threefrom in Islamabad, funded by the Canadian fused with the similar-sounding SDPI in
the International Islamic University, International Development Agency, be- Islamabad),generously funded ly donors,
Islamabad, four from technocrats in the fore we look at more general trends. was set-up by three senior faculty mem-
public sector, and three from the Punjab In the mid- and late-1980s, when AERC bers at the AERC including the then
Economic Research Institute in Lahore. was as its peak, it had at one time 11 Director while they were working at the
Given its rather poor scholarly standard, foreign qualified PhDs working there AERC. Subsequently, three more middle-
unlike the Pakistan Development Review, contributingcritically to AERC's teaching level faculty members left to join SPDC,
there are only three papers by foreign and research programme. According to while others ended up moonlighting there.
scholars, one each from Nigeria, the US recent informationprovided by the AERC, SDPI, on the other hand,has been around
and Turkey; there are no south Asian there were five PhDs working till recently. for less than a decade and has gradually
contributions. However, as partof this study, visits to the built its reputation as a model for other
The Pakistan Journal of Applied Eco- AERC revealed that there was only one research organisations in the country. It
nomics startedout as a rival to the Pakistan PhD who was the director and a research has not had the problem of the attrition off
Development Review, and is located at the professor, while three others had, within staff as the public sector has and has
Applied Economics Research Centre the last four months left the APRC and attracted many scholars some of whom
(AERC), Universityof Karachi,which sees joined other institutions. These PhDs were worked in the public sector previously.
itself as a sort of rival to the Pakistan still 'technically' on the AERC staff roster Perhaps, the greatest asset of SDPI is its
Institute of Development Economics, as they had taken 'foreign service leave', flexibility, in terms of management, atti-
where the more illustrious PDR is housed. but for all practicalpurposes, were on their tude, disciplines and 'space' created and
However, the Pakistan Journal ofApplied way out. This demise of the AERC and allowed to researchscholars. Anothergreat
Economics is a pale shadow of its earlier the exodus of all competent and senior asset of SDPI as well as of SPDC, both
self as is also, the Applied Economics economists is indeed symptomatic of the funded by the Canadian International
Research Centre. The Journal is running ?general trend in the social sciences in Development Agency (CIDA), is that they
three years behind schedule and the 1998 Pakistan. Another factor not related solely can pay handsomely. The pay scales at
issue was published in 2001. Moreover, to the AERC was that from the AERC (and both places are four to five times what
in thefourvolumes since 1995, thereshould other public sector institutions like PIDE) .the public sector pays and clearly, a
have been eight issues, but only five have some mid-level academics (five or six) huge reason for the exodus from the public
been produced,clubbing as many as three went abroad for their PhDs, often on sector to these new breed of institutions.
volumes due to a paucity of contributions, scholarships, but did not return and be- The limited salary in the public sector is
two of which are based on conference came permanent residents of the host also a cause for the exodus of Pakistani
papers held at the AERC. Of the two country, almost always the US. academics to foreign organisations and
volumes which constitute two different Of the 11 PhDs who were at the AERC other countries. Also, if we look at some
sets of Conference Proceedings, of the 18 in the late 1980s and early 1990s, three of our encompassing premises delineated
papers presented, six are by university joined .the World Bank, one the Asian above, one can get a better understanding
professors from Britain and Europe, there Development Bank, and one the United for the reasons of this exodus. Of the 11
are three papers from other international Nations; six of the 11 went abroad, only PhDs at the AERC in the 1980s and early
scholarsfromthe developed countries, five one to a university (in the US) while one 1990s,twobecameministers invariousgovem-
papers by AERC faculty, two from PIDE, went to teach at a college in the Middle ments in Pakistan, the two senior-most
and one each from a business institute and East. Of the five who stayed in Pakistan, economists at PIDE joined government,
from a former public servant; In the three one joined the World Bank in Islamabad, one as its Chief Economist, andthe other as
regular issues since 1995, there are 13 one joined a private sector teaching the main Advisor to the ministryof finance.
papers, two of which are contributed by organisation', one an NGO, another be- One issue which we can try and address,
professors at the Quaid e Azam University came a consultant, and the one who stayed is that of institutional continuity and sus-
Economics Department, four by foreign on at the AERC, became its Director. From tenance. Questions such as the following
contributors,two of whom are in Malay- 11 PhDs actively involved in research at can be raised: to what extent have the
sia, three in-house from the AERC, and the AERC, and hence, in Pakistan, in the institutions successfully adaptedto chang-
one each from an autonomous nongovern- 1980s and early 1990s, there are now only ing conditions of support and demand for
mental research institute, the State Bank two left who are active researchers - the research? How have they negotiated the
of Pakistan, a private university, and the one left at the AERC and the one at a local transition from the first generation of

Economicand PoliticalWeekly August 31, 2002 3653


foundersto the succeedinggenerations? given the arithmetic, with more institu- faculty. Some members of the elite, (the
What is the institutionalculture like? tions producing more students and with few that exist in the profession in the first
Clearly,SDPIcomparedto AERC,seems more opportunities opening up. However, place) do, however, increasingly teach in
to be doinga betterjob at doing far more this is mainly the case in subjects such as private universities and work in the NGO
multidisciplinary researchandinitsability international relations, political science, and donor sector. Yet, because the stu-
to continueto attractexceptionaltalent. history and Pakistan Studies, but not so in dents/younger peers at these institutions
AERCis, instead,moribundanddoes not Economics. Surprisingly, KarachiUniver- also belong to the elite or more westerised/
seem to havemanagedchangewell at all, sity which has been around for 50 years anglicised social groups, the social, class
althoughit is partiallya victim of self- and has 8.000 students enrolled, has pro- and cultural divide is, perhaps, limited
neglect as well as due to the changing duced only one PhD in Economics in all between the two. In public sector institu-
macroenvironment,particularlyas a con- these years. Despite the high ambitions tions, both the faculty and students would
sequenceof thedeclineof thepublicsector which are mentioned in the brochure of tend to belong to what could be best
and its universities. the AERC, since 1986 it has awarded described as broadly, the middle or lower-
If one looks at the change in research degrees at the MPhil level to only a handful middle class.
projectsover time,ourbroadtrendsin an of students. The International Islamic
earliersection would be very suggestive University has produced some PhDs in VI
of thenatureof researchin economicsand Economics as have the Punjab and Quaid Profileof SocialScientists
therestof the social sciences.In econom- e Azam universities. Even the Lahore
ics, researchhas shifted in line with the University of Management Studies which Although there is little doubt that here
government'sprioritiesandanalysingthe has mainly been a Business School, has has been a huge quantitative expansion in
impactof its policies. Forexample,there only just recently startedan undergraduate the number of teaching departments and
was a greatdeal of researchon plansand programme in economics, and is now students in the social sciences in Pakistan
on planning, in general, in the 1960s, thinking abouta Masterslevel programme. in the last few decades, there is also little
followedby anemphasison agriculturein Karachi University reveals an interest- doubt that the quality of education across
the 1970s and especially on the conse- ing situation which differs significantly the board, has deteriorated very sharply.
quences of the green revolution.Many from the Pakistanistereotype, thatas much A couple of decades ago, the quality at the
thesesandpaperswerealso writtenon the as 70 per cent of the student population graduate and masters level from a Paki-
industrialsector and on inequality.The is female. In fact, there are a number of stani university was thought to be of a
Islamiceconomicsschoolof thoughtflour- departments in the social sciences and in decent standard, but no longer. All aca-
ished in the 1980s, while in line with humanities, where there are no male stu- demics interviewed for this study were
Pakistan'ssubservienceto agendaset by dents. Interestingly, a similar position agreed on this, but more surprisingly,every
donors, the 1990s onwards have seen emerges at the Government College, single one felt that in the public sector at
researchlargely,on global issues, such as Lahore, where 90 per cent of students in least, the quality of postgraduate training
the environment,and other governance Economics are girls.31 While this huge is going to fall furtherin the years to come.
relatedthemes. Public finance, poverty proportion may not be reflected in other The reasons for the previous and future
and public debt have also been popular universities, particularly Baluchistan and fall in quality are easy to understand.Cuts
themes,as has the structuraladjustment Peshawar, there is no denying the fact that in resources to state sector institutions of
programme.These changes are reflected compared to say two decades ago, girls and learning, particularly to those subjects
in the publicationsrecordof scholarsat women have begun to be highly visible at which are in the Arts and Humanities
variousinstitutions.Moreover,as donor all levels of society. The NGO sector is faculties, have been markedin recentyears
moneybeganto determineresearch,indi- probably dominated by professional as the state has had to cut its budget deficit
vidualinitiativegave way to expediency women from all backgrounds, including and spending. Since the 1980s, there has
and to the need to supplementone's in- the social sciences, and there are at least also been a explosion in the growth of
come. Researchnow, does not takeplace 30 per cent, if not more, women faculty private sector universities and colleges
unless someone funds a 'project'. members in all subjects. There has been which have poached off the public sector.
A huge percentageof academicsin the a remarkable transformation in Pakistani The case of the Social Policy and Deve-
pastin almostall disciplines,weremainly society as a consequence of the revolution lopment Centre was cited above, where
foreigntrained,as grantsandscholarships which has takenplace in the lives of women senior faculty of the Applied Economics
from USAID, the Ford Foundationand and girls. Research Centre of the University of
othersourcesallowedmanyacademicsto Unlike perhaps other south Asian coun- Karachi built a donor-funded institute
go abroadto study.Now, withgrantsfewer tries, there does not seem to be a large class paying lucrative salaries, and eventually
thanin the past and with more potential divide between faculty and students, par- attractedmany of the faculty as well as the
recipientschasing them, it is becoming ticularly in the social science disciplines. administrative staff, from this public cen-
difficultto go abroadfor a few years to This would have been the case, if the tre institution to work at the SPDC. An-
study.Manystudentsgo for a year or so, members of the elite in Pakistan studied otherfactorwhich has resultedin thequality
to do anotherMastersdegreeafterhaving social science at public sector institutions falling, has been the fact that'so many of
donetheirMasterslocally, but whenthey especially at the tertiary level, as it is in the academics, particularly in the field of
return,they are also liable to dropout of such institutionswhere the faculty is largely economics, left for abroad. There is a
academics/research and do other things 'middle class'. Yet, because the elite, as consensus amongst academics that there
altogether.Comparedto the past,it seems has been argued in the paper, strive to go is visible decay in the quality of teaching
thatthereare far more Pakistanitrained abroadto study (and may not end up doing and faculty at Pakistani public sector in-
social scientists working in the country any social science as such), this apparent stitutions. Many social scientists feel that
thaneverbefore.Thisis notsurprisingjust gap does not exist between them and the the present mid-career generation of

3654 Economicand Political Weekly August 31, 2002


Pakistani social scientists, those in their in the economics department, does not graduatedegreein thesocial sciences,has
mid-40s to mid-50s, is the last of a dying have a teacher with a degree higher than 30 foreign PhDs alreadyteachingthere.
generation. a foreign Masters'. Perhaps this partially
Some interestingtrendsfrom Table 3 are explains the fact that the Karachi Univer- VII
indicative of the dismal state of the social sity has been able to produce only one PhD ProfessionalAssociations
sciences in Pakistan.For example, Karachi in economics in 50 years. Equally inter-
University which with the University of esting is that fact that the Lahore Univer- There are at best, only two or three
the Punjab is the biggest university in sity of Management Sciences, a private professionalorganisationswhich are ac-
Pakistan,andhas over 300 studentsenrolled university, which has yet to start a post- tive in Pakistan.In thissectionwe analyse
Table 3: Faculty Foreign (F)/Local (L) Degrees, MPhil and PhD
Economics Sociology History Anthropology PoliticalScience IR Pak Studies DifferentArea
Studies
1 AJK n/a
2 Bahauddin 6 F PhD, 4 F PhD 2 F PhD
Zakaria 2 L Mphil, 2 L PhD 1 F MPhil
3L MA 1 F, L, MPhil 5 L MA
1 LMA
3 Baluchistan 1 F PhD 1 F PhD 1 F PhD 1LPhD 1F PhD 1L PhD
3FMS 1LPhD 2LMPhil 1 FMA 6LMA 4 L MA
6L MS 1 L MPhil 3 L MA 4 L MA
5L MA
4 Karachi 5 FMA 1 L PhD 4 FPhD 6 L PhD 2 L PhD 3F PhD
10LMA 10LMA 1FMA 2FMA 2FMA 1 LPhD
15LMA 8LMA 5LMA 3L MA
5 LUMS 30 F PhD
2LMA
6 Peshawar 2 F PhD 1F MA 1 L PhD 6 LMA 1 F MPhil
1 L PhD 4 LMA 1FMA IL MPhil
1FMA 2LMA 4LMA
3LMA
7 Punjab 3 F PhD 1 F PhD 3F PhD 1 F PhD
1LPhD 6LMA 2LPhD 2LMA
2 F MA 4 L MA
4LMA
8 QAU 4 F PhD 3 F PhD 1 F PhD 4F PhD 2 F PhD
2F MA 1 L PhD 1 F MS 1 L PhD 3 L PhD
4 L MA 1F Phil 5 L MA 1 F MPhil 7 MA
4 L MPhil 1L MPhil
3L MA 1F MA
5FMA
9 Sindh 17LMA 1FMA 3LPhD 1 FPhD 3 FPhD
1 LMPhil 7LMA 1 LMPhil 12LMA 7 LMA
2FMA 6LMA
SDSC 3 F PhD
2 F MSc
5 L MSc
10 11of Econ 8FPhD
1 L PhD
2 L MPhil
12L MA
11 IslamiaUniv 1 F PhD 1 F PhD 2 F PhD
Bhpur 1 F MA 2 L PhD 2 L PhD
1L MPhil 5 L MA 4LMA
4 L MA
12 SAL 2 F PhD 1 F PhD
3 L MPhil 10 L MA
10L MA
13 GCLahore 3 L PhD 8 L MA 1 PhD
5 MA 11 MA
14 AreaSC Africa, 6 F PhD
NSAm 1 L PhD
3 L MPhil
1 FMS
15 CAsia 3 F PhD
2 L PhD
16 USind 8
17 SA Pun 2 F PhD
1 LPhD
4L MA
18 PIDE* 10F PhD Demog: 1 F PhD
32 others 2 F PhD 6 others 2'others
19 AERC 4F PhD
4 FMS
7L MS
Source: These figuresare takenfromthe UniversityGrantsCommission,HandbookonUniversitiesinPakistan2001, UGC,Islamabad,2001, andthe University
GrantsCommission,Handbookon UniversitiesinPakistan1998,UGC,Islamabad,1999, except (*)whichis fromPIDE'sweb site. See text-ina different
sections belowformore recent statistics fromsome institutionsrelatedto changes over time.

Economicand PoliticalWeekly August 31, 2002 3655


the role of that of the most prominentone. have done so more than twice. There has primarily from the non-public sector and
The Pakistan Society of Development not been a single paper presented in the donors.
Economists(PSDE) is anautonomousbody Distinguished Lecture series by a Paki- Collaboration between senior andjunior
based at the Pakistan Institute of Deve- stani academic who lives and works in scholars/academics at the same institution
lopment Economics (PIDE), Islamabad. Pakistan. Perhaps there is no stronger is very infrequentas reflected by published
The Society is supposed to "provide a comment on the state of the entire range output. However, this is not always the
forum and a platform to academics and of Pakistan's social sciences, and not just case, and in many instances, senior faculty
policy-makersfor an exchange of ideas on economics, than this observation. make use of junior faculty mainly as data
the pressing economic and social prob- Table 5 only reiteratesthe criticism that collectors or its more glorified version, as
lems facing Pakistan".Since its inception the PSDE is simply a mouthpiece for PIDE research assistant. This is particularly so
in 1982,theSociety has arranged16 Annual (and now increasingly, it seems for expa- in the field of economics a fact which is
GeneralMeetings and Conferences which triate Pakistanis at the World Bank and well reflected at the Pakistan Society for
have been attended by researchers and IMF), ratherthan a broad-based forum for Development Economists' conferences and
policy-makers from Pakistan and abroad. intellectual discourse. Moreover, many in its proceedings. Also, given the fact that
When the Society was formed in 1983, it economists feel that the quality of the the donor-funded projects which are given
had 252 members which increased to 571 papers at the PSDE Conferences not only to institutions of economics research are
in 1994 (the last year for which figures are varies widely, but is not very good. The usually very large and require a number
available) of which 403 were paying PSDE is seen as an opportunity for PIDE of members of that institution to collabo-
members and the rest ex-officio. faculty to add to their publications list.32 rate, there is substantial division of labour
PSDE has a number of Distinguished The absence of academics and research- (perhaps a better term than 'collabora-
Lectures at each of its Annual Confer- ers from universities and other institutes tion') in those projects, which may or may
ences. It is worth examining the selection is noticeable at these conferences, which not find an outlet as a publication. In some
of speakers at these conferences over the despite all reservations, is the only forum research institutes, SDPI in Islamabad, in
five conferences from 1995-99. The most for economists to presenttheir work. There particular, a conscious effort is actually
prestigious,Quaide Azam Lecture,has been has not been a single presentation at these made by senior faculty to work with junior
given by either World Bank serving or conferences in recent years (perhapsever) staff and this is amply reflected in their
retiredofficialsand/orAmerican academics. from teachers at Karachi University, one published output. Another importantcase
In these five years, only one Pakistani has of the two largest in Pakistan. At the other where one sees substantial collaboration,
given the Quaid e Azam Lecture and he end of the spectrum, it is worth pointing is in the department of international rela-
worked for the World Bank in Washing- out that not a single professor (none of the tions at KarachiUniversity, where the large
ton. In 1999 and 1998, the same American 30 foreign PhDs) at the Lahore University number of books edited and published by
Professorgave the Iqbal Lecture, while in of Management Sciences, has presented a the department, usually as conference
1996 and 1995, this was given by an paper at the PSDE conferences. Perhaps proceedings, clearly show the large con-
American and British academic, respec- for these reasons, PSDE is considered to tribution made by junior faculty.
tively. The Mahbub ul Haq Memorial be "a poor substitute as a forum for free In this regard, Nadeem ul Haque and
Lecturehasbeengiven bothtimes by retired and open debates on economic issues and Mahmood Hasan Khan having spoken to
or serving Pakistaniofficials at the World for organising activities which would a number of young economists found that
Bank.The WorldBank Pakistani who gave invigorate the profession".34 Haque and there was 'no professional contact' be-
the Mahbub ul Haq Memorial Lecture in Khan also add their strong criticism at the tween the' younger economists and their
1998, also gave one of the Distinguished PSDE and say, that these "meetings are senior colleagues. These young profes-
Lectures in 1999 and in 1997. perhaps more distinguished by the promi- sionals said that they hardly met these
Of the 31 lectures given as part of nent Pakistani economists that were often older economists, and if they did. they
DistinguishedLectureseries, 11 were given excluded from participation".35 were patronisedandderidedfor being more
by academics from the US and the UK interested in theory (ivory tower econom-
(many of whom gave these lectures more VIII ics) than in doing 'real work'. The senior
thanonce), 9.5 were eitherretiredor serving ScholarlyCollaboration economists, according to the young pro-
Pakistanisat the World Bank and the IMF, fessionals, 'claimed hierarchical privilege
2 each were World Bank retired or serving One of the symptoms of the crisis of and felt very uncomfortable with an equal
employees from the US,' Egypt and Pakistani social science is that there is too debate of issues'.36 According to Haque
Bangladesh.There was one academic each little collaboration between scholars at the and Khan, "theculture of Pakistantoo does
from Franceand Australia, and one paper same institution, and between institutions, not help here, for age can often interpret
each was presented by a member of the although interestingly, there are some a genuine difference of opinion as rude-
International Food Policy Research exceptions to both these norms, coming ness. This claim has preventeddialogue".37
Institutein the US, a German from OECD, Table 4: PSDE Distinguished Lecture Presentations
and a US Consultant. Of the 32 papers
1999 1998 1997 1996 1995
presented at the five PSDE conferences
between 1995-99, only two papers have Quaide Azam WB/US Prof/US Prof/US WB/Pak Prof/US
beenpresentedby Pakistaniacademics both Iqbal Prof/ US Prof/US Prof/Pak Prof/US Prof/UK
Mul Haq WB/Pak WB/Pak
of whom live-and teach abroad. In the 16 DL 1 WB/Pak IMF/Pak WB/Pak Prof/Aus OECD/German
conferences held by PSDE, in the Distin- DL2 IMF/Pak Prof/French Prof/US IFPRI/US IMF+ ProfbothPak
guished Lecture series, only three Paki- DL3 Prof/US WB/US Prof/Pak IMF/Pak Egypt/WB
DL4 WB/Pak Prof/US Prof/US
stani academics all of whom live abroad, DL5 WB/BD Consultant/US
have been invited to lecture, two of whom

3656 Economic and Political Weekly August 31, 2002


They argue that 'younger economists joint academic publications. Many inter- registered any significant comment or
deniedthatthey hadreceived any mentoring national organisations, based in Pakistan analysis because of their paucity in the
from their more senior professionals. In and abroad, also locate their projects in contribution to the social sciences, and
fact, many of them found the first crop to Pakistani centres (the 'local' partner)and hence have little to offer in terms of south
be unapproachable'.38 hence one can call this 'international' Asian connections and collaboration. In
Collaborations between institutions is collaboration, but this too depends on the the case of international relations and
also limited, especially between public project and the funds. Some such projects political science, however, there has been
sector institutions. For example, the eco- have given rise to academic publications research in Pakistan on south Asia, in
nomics department at Quaid e Azam which have had Pakistani and foreign particularon India. Collaboration has also
University in Islamabad, is housed next to scholars collaborating. Another form of taken place with political scientists, re-
the Pakistan Institute of Development 'collaboration'althoughthat is a misnomer gional study experts, and experts in inter-
Economics, just as the economics depart- in this context, is to hold international national relations visiting each others'
ment at Karachi University is housed a conferences where foreign scholars read countries. However, it is important to
short walk from the Applied Economics papers which are then published in the reemphasise the view that these connec-
Research Centre. Yet, there is no interac- conference proceedings. tions are highly personal and individual
tion or collaboration in any meaningful rather than having any structural and in-
sense between the two sets of institutions. IX stitutional links. As one of our academic
Instead, the research centres see them- SouthAsianConnections respondents pointed out, that it is always
selves as far superior and more able than the same handful of Pakistani academics
the lowly teaching departments, from If we understandthe political economy and researchers who go to India; there is
where, incidentally, both the research and history of Pakistan, we will perhaps, no variety in this list and most are repeat
centres draw their student/research body. better understand Pakistan's south Asian visitors. One reason for this is that gov-
Moreover, it is not just at the same uni- connections. There are far too few 'con- ernment in Pakistan is not open to links
versity, but between PIDE and AERC too, nections' in academia between Pakistan with India, and in fact discourages them
there is no collaboration. This attempt to and the other nations in south Asia. This by imposing severe restrictions on any
control the turf,. limits the interaction is most marked in the case of economics independent endeavour and exchange.41
between institutions, as do personal rival- the leading discipline in Pakistan in the One factor which has caused a boom in
ries and 'personalityclashes'.39 As Haque social sciences, where there is virtually no south Asian connections and collaboration,
and Khan argue, "all of the research cen- exchange of ideas, collaboration of any is due to the NGO movement, particularly
tres and institutes, including PIDE and sort, and perhaps even awareness and that related to the peace movement and the
AERC, have largely excluded from their interest, of each other's economy. At least nuclear issue. There have been literally
programmesand studies the involvement in Pakistan, there has been no paper in hundreds of such meetings where activ-
of faculty from departmentsof economics recent memory published in any academic ists, many of whom are well known social
in universities in Karachi, Islamabad, journal which examines the economy or scientists in India and Pakistan, have vis-
Lahore, Peshawar and Hyderabad. There the reforms under way in any of the south ited each others' countries. While there
is almost no formal joint study and re- Asian countries. A huge majority of the has been some researched output related
search programmeat any of these places. work by Pakistani economists is on to these meetings and this activism, it has
On the contrary, there is unhealthy com- Pakistan's economy, and not on theory, or been severely limited. Another area' of
petition for scarce resources and skills and on applying theory to other countries as collaboration between India and Pakistan
even mutual resentment and hostility".40 a comparison. has been on account of the women's
In other disciplines, if we return to one of Most otherdisciplines in oursurvey have movement in Pakistan particularly, but
our Encompassing Parameters,that of the been highly conspicuous by their absence, across south Asia, more generally. This
individual being the institution or greater disciplines like anthropology, sociology, activism has, however, produced some
than the institution, then we do have demography and even history, have hardly published researched output.
numerous examples of individuals col-
Table 5: Papers Presented at the PSDE Conferences by Author Affiliation
laboratingwith other institutions, but this
is rather top-heavy and very individual- 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
specific. Institutions do not collaborate. Total 45 38 23 43 39
With the advent of NGOs and donors,
PIDE 16 11 8 13 15
however, there is some change in this InlIslamicU 6 1
attitudewhich often calls for collaboration US/UK/EUacademics 2 3 3 2
between institutions. Many organisations Pak academics abroad 3 4 4 2 1
South Asian 1
are specialised, and hence, unable to carry AERC 4 1
out much multidisciplinary work and, NationalIns of Pop Stds 3 1 2 1
therefore, turn to others to prepare joint Governmentand state sector 2 6 1 8 6
PrivateUnv 2 1 2
proposals and work together on projects. Independent/Private sector 3 2
One does not see intra-institutionally OtherForeigner 1
WorldBank/IMF/Donors
published papers though, and much of this Autonomous 3 5 8 5
Research Inst 3 1 2
collaborationis limited to funded projects. QAU 1 2 2 2
Anothernew development is organisations OtherPublicsector univs 2 4 3 4
out-sourcing studies or hiring time from Note: This table only shows the numberof papers eventuallypublishedin the Pakistan Development
academics and researchers to collaborate Review, whichtend to be fewer than the numberof papers actuallypresented at the Conference
on projects. This too is not reflected in itself. Itis worthnotingthatthese papers are 'noteven internallyscreened muchless refereed.'33

Economic and Political Weekly August 31, 2002 3657


Althoughit is impossibleto give any these disciplines.Clearly,academicsare not was also funded by donors prior to their
idea of the numberof academicvisitors supposed to do policy-irrelevant research. launching a huge social sector develop-
fromothersouthAsiancountries,one can Given this need to find acceptance by ment programme. The current buzzword
certainlysay that there is currentlyfar authorityas we argue in our Encompassing is the World Bank and otherdonors' notion
greaterexchangebetween India and Pa- Principles, much research is limited by its of governance and all it entails.
kistan,thanperhapseverbeforeinthepast. 'relevance'. For example, in History, al- Writing mainly about economists since
NGOs leadthis exchangemovement,but most all the historians and students pur- they are in the greatest demand by donors,
area/regionalstudy centres are probably suing higher degrees, do so on the Pakistan Haque and Khan identify a bigger problem
next in line. This is despite the fact that Movement and there is great emphasis to which affects social science in general.
travelrestrictionsbetweenthe two coun- justify the two-nation theory. As a conse- Addressing the consulting scourge, they
triesareof insurmountable proportions.It quence, there is no historian in Pakistan write thatcareers in the consultancy indus-
mustbe emphasisedthatthereis an offi- who works on the theory of history, for try have 'affected the economics profes-
ciallysanctionedsuspicionandresentment example, or on social and cultural history, sion in a disastrous way in Pakistan' a
of IndiansocialscientistsinPakistan,hence and neither on the British period, or on the phenomenon associated with the rise of
it is not surprising that (government) Mughals. All the work is related to Jinnah, foreign aid and donor funding. They write
universitydepartmentsand centres are the Muslim League and perhaps some to that, "given the largely unfavourable en-
unable to attractIndian, or even .other Muslims in India prior to partition. The vironment for academic research in eco-
southAsian,scholars.The mainformsof colonial period has been ignored, andthere nomics and the lucrative monetary gain
collaboration,almostexclusively,arework- is no regional/provincial history, either.42 and social status from consulting services,
shops and conferences. Some historians feel that history has al- the industryhas drawn the energy and time
ways been subordinateto political science of almost every academic economist in the
x and we have numerous dilettantes and country. In fact, most of the so-called
Relevance untrained non-historians trying to do the research agenda and output in almost all
work of the historian.43 of the academia and institutes is driven by
Thissectiontriesto addressthequestion When Islamic ideology dominated in the demands for studies and reports by
of the 'relevance'of social science re- terms of state ideology, many social sci- donor agencies and government depart-
searchin Pakistan.Is it possible to get a entists rediscovered Islam and its relation- ments or organisations."46
sense of how the relevanceof social sci- ship and relevance to Pakistani society, The relevance of the social sciences can
ence researchwas defined two or three and starteddoing research with an Islamic be gauged by the government's recent
decadesago andhow it is beingredefined angle, primarily because this was consid- attitude as reported in a national news-
now? If we look at one or two of our ered a useful means to be accepted by paper. On August 23, 2001, Dawn quoting
encompassing parameterslistedearlier,this Authority and was a means to legitimise informed sources reportedthat"theNWFP
questionwouldbe well answered.Insome one's self. This was particularly so in the government has decided to abolish the
ways,as we havetriedto argueina number period during Zia ul Haq's reign, and has Humanitiessubjects from the college curri-
of placesinthispaper,relevanceis actually now acquired its own historical and insti- culum" as "the students could not benefit
the problem.In tryingto be relevantin a tutional dynamics. Even anthropology was from these 'worthless' subjects in their
problem-solving'useful' way, Pakistani recast in a central Asian context in order practical life". The Report added that "the
social scientists,particularlyeconomists, to draw links with Pakistan's Muslim governmentparticularlyits financeministry,
havebecomeclerksorat bestbureaucrats, heritage in that region negating or thinks that economics, political science,
trying to find ways of how to improve minimising the south Asian links. For these philosophy, literature, sociology, history,
things. Knowledgeis defined as some- reasons, some scholars have found that the Islamiyat and other several disciplines
thingconcrete,somethingwhichmusthave "relevance and use of social sciences pro- dealing with human thoughts are useless".
a practicaluse. Abstractthinkingis dis- duced in Pakistan is low. The social sci- A follow-up article quoted the director
couragedand academicsare told to 'get ence knowledge produced is primarily for of colleges, NWFP, thatfive newly opened
out of theirivory towers'.In a sense, for the use of state agencies and only margin- girls colleges will not have Humanities
all the reasonsdescribedearlier in this ally for creatin social awareness of social and Social Sciences. It also quoted the
paper,'relevance'has limitedthe growth problems ..."44 Oddly enough, despite director planning and development, direc-
of the social sciencedisciplineandsocial this anti-knowledge relevance, Pakistan's torate of colleges, that the reason for the
scienceresearch,asa mediumforthesearch best known sociologist has argued that-in move is the opposition of the NWFP fi-
for knowledge.It is merely a searchfor order to promote 'socio-economic devel- nance department to the launching of
solutions,often withouteven understand- opment', "likesenioreconomists, why can't humanities subjects in these newly-estab-
ing the problemsand/ortheir links with we have senior sociologists in the Planning lished institutions due to a shortage of
the wider whole. Commission to begin with?".45 resources. This article also quotes an
Ontheotherhand,someacademicshave In some cases, research is relevant, NWFP minister who said that "the gov-
complainedthat their disciplines are not because donors fund it and they have far ernment wants to introduce subjects in
considered'relevant'by the authorities/ more pressing, applied, and related needs colleges according to the market
government,andno one 'listensto them', to address specific problems. For example, demands...Education should have some
and hence, political science and history, the huge bandwagon on poverty research purpose and one of it should be to help
forexample,arenotconsidered'relevant' in Pakistan is led by the World Bank in people in getting employment... Our edu-
enoughto attractstudentsto these disci- association with local institutes, and the cation should be responsive to the needs
plines.Unless these subjectsare madeas interest on poverty is due to its very of the society so that our graduates do not
'relevant'as economics,in an advise-giv- noticeable growth. Much of the research sit idle after completing their schooling
ingmanner, fewstudentswillbeattractedto in the social sectors five to 10 years ago, and get employed" (The News on Sunday,

3658 Economic and Political Weekly August 31, 2002


Karachi,September 2, 2001). Clearly, the nomics Research Centre, not a single one and large non-participatory, based on
social sciences are being forced to respond wrote a book, when they were there, or hierarchy by seniority. The rewardsystem
to the market making them less oriented later (other than a couple of edited books follows the nationalmodel of patronage".48
to knowledge and hence, more 'relevant'. based on Conference Proceedings). At the Naseem adds that"therehas also been little
Pakistan Institute of Development Eco- tradition to encourage freedom of expres-
XI nomics, considered to be the 'premier' sion and debate in a genuine fashion, either
Accountability institution for economics research, the in-house or outside. In the absence of peer
situation is no better. In the other social interactionand review, regardless of one's
Based on our interviews and other sciences, there are again, a small handful position in the hierarchy, it is no wonder
sources, one can try and assess some of of academics who are conspicuous for what the quality of research output is.
the following issues: the mechanisms of their books and published work, because Individual consultation with and supervi-
self-regulation, such as peer reviews, re- they are far too few and tend to write far sion by senior staff members is hardly a
view committees, accreditationprocedures, more frequently. substitute for open interaction with peers.
etc; to what extent are they seen as effec- Since academics in the social sciences The highly centralised and bureaucratised
tive?;mechanismsof regulation by others, publish so infrequently, they rise the pro- (some would say feudal) work culture ..
such as government bodies or funding fessional ladder through the number of stifles initiative and participation among
agencies; the autonomy of institutions and years served in government. Although, research staff."49 Inayatullah adds a
the autonomy of scholars; working con- technically, all are required to publish, broaderperspective to this condition when
ditions including security of tenure, fixed they manage to get by by publishing in he argues that, "working within the frame-
scales of pay, contract employment, shar- lesser known journals or with another work of government-controlled and gov-
ing of consultancy remunerationbetween collaborator.Peer reviews areusually done ernment-funded academic institutions,
the scholar and the institution; how do locally and it is not uncommon to receive some of the Pakistani social scientists opt
these affect the productivity and the au- requests to 'clear' a candidate. In a society for the convenient and possibly twisted
tonomy of scholars? whose rules are determined by patronage, meaning of value neutrality and adopt the
In most academic and research institu- agreeing to or denying such requests has perspective and preferences of those
tions worldwide, publications play an serious consequences. Moreover, many whoever happen to be in power regardless
importantrole in the accountability of the academics interviewed are disgusted by of the nature of the rule they impose on
professional,anddeterminecredibility and what goes by in the name of 'research', the society and degree of their political
tenure/promotion.Given the state ofjour- and feel that there are major flaws in legitimacy."50 Drawing from our encom-
nals in Pakistan, this is not likely to have refereeing with no laid down procedures passing parameters again, it seems that
a significant impact on the quality of or rules, and hence standards are very state patronage gives rise to a thriving
research.If non-refereedin-housejournals varied and arbitrary. culture of sycophancy and toadyism, and
are going to be used for promotion/tenure, Some scholars feel that research (in that Pakistanis, given the nature of the
then clearly this will give rise to a closed economics in their example, but this is state, are probably better at this than most.
club, where those who control/manage the generalisable) suffers on the account of the Some academics have argued that
'journal' will determine who publishes. following constraints: "the major factors Pakistan'sauthoritarianhistoryhasaffected
Also, in manyof the non-refereedjournals, affecting the volume and quality of aca- the nature and quality of research and
articlesaresolicited from friends or 'noted' demic research in economics include: the accountability in our academies. Inaya-
scholars who have prettymuch a free hand internal management structure, work en- tullah, for example argues, that Pakistan's
in what they want to say. In some cases, vironment, and the reward system in bureaucraticand military 'highly authori-
especially having been invited to write, academia and research institutes. Reflect- tarian' state, placed 'narrow limits on
qualityis severely compromised. There are ing the pathology of the larger feudal- freedom of enquiry, expression and dis-
these double standards at work here: bureaucratic social order in Pakistan, the sent', and that with reference to the 1960s,
everyone knows that a particularjournal senior management generally follows the he quotes Ralph Briabanti approvingly;
is of poor quality, yet in order to be pro- national model of centralised power with- "the conduct of scholarship and the limits
moted, one needs a numberof publications out consultation and participation. A high on scholarship are determined by govern-
and we find dozens of cases where sup- proportionof thejunior researchand teach- ment, not by the scholar".51 Such factors
posedly respectedandestablished research- ing staff finds itself in a patron-client did compromise the nature of social sci-
ers publish in poor quality un-refereed relationship, in which the patron has ence at public universities and institutes
journals, mainly trying to add to their list considerable power to punish and reward. for many years and may have laid the
of publications. This personalised nature of power breeds foundations for the rot to set in. However,
This phenomenon is even more evident mediocrity since salary, scholarship, and such constraints do not exist in Pakistan
when we consider book publishing. While promotion are rarely based on merit and today and there is far greater freedom of
most publishers do not have their manu- personal achievement. Some of the senior expression than in the past.
scriptsreviewed,nevertheless,because they research staff and faculty have achieved While one can generalise greatly from
have to sell/market the book, they must their positions through this system and these comments, there are only a very few
meet certain standards.This is not the case suffer from a sense of insecurity."47 One institutes in the donor/privatesector, which
with in-house journals. Perhaps this ex- cannot but agree with this impression, and are free from these petty biases and struc-
plains the fact, that given the few hundred indeed, it reflects the very sad state of tures for, after all, many of the new insti-
social scientists that we have in Pakistan, accountability in public sector institutions tutes have been set up by individuals with
a mere handful have written academic in Pakistan. many years of having worked in the public
books. As a passing example, of the 11 Haque and Khan continue and say that, sector themselves having known no other
PhDs in Economics at the Applied Eco- "the internalmanagementstructuresare by model. Clearly, how an institution is run

Economicand PoliticalWeekly August 31, 2002 3659


and the norms and signals given and the industry in the economics profession and found their way to public sector institu-
institute's culture, are very much deter- upset both research priorities and incen- tions and universities and institutes.These,
mined by who leads that institution, and tive structures to undertake serious eco- as we have demonstrated, have their own
how it is managed and governed by that nomic research in Pakistan."54 connotations, butseem to be theonly source
one individual. Some academics feel that The biggest threat to social science of funds available to the public sector. In
the culture in universities is to prevent funding in Pakistan today seems to come Pakistan, while the NGO sector presence
others from doing work, and with so many from the lobby which is obsessed with is very prominent in social science re-
political appointees and retired bureau- information technology and which wants search, specific information is very diffi-
crats and military personnel serving as to take Pakistan 'into the 21st century'. cult to obtain, for NGOs do not disclose
vice- chancellors and heads of centres and Given severely limited resources on ac- how much they spend on such research.
institutes,'accountability'tends to be based count of Pakistan's structuraladjustment Anecdotes and personal experiences sug-
on non-academic criteria and largely re- programmeand the state's fiscal crisis, this. gest that the amount of money channelled
lated to patronage. The imprint of one's obsession becomes a serious issue. The through the NGOs for 'research' is sub-
personal style has made and destroyed government, for example, has launched a stantial and many NGOs and donors pay
numerousinstitutionsin Pakistan.A simple Teachers' and Researchers' Overseas high consultancy ratesforquality research-
change in leadership can transform an Scholarship Scheme at a cost of Rs 826 ers. Yet, the scale is unknown.
institution, for far better or for far worse,million to train 100 outstanding teachers
quite dramatically. and researchers who will do their doctor- XIII
ates at the world's top universities. Unfor- Conclusions
XII tunately, all these scholarships will be in
Finances 'selected areas of science and technology' It is surprisingly easy to find agreement
only (Dawn, Karachi, March 11. 2001). amongst social scientists in Pakistan re-
It has not been possible to get hard data In response to this, some professors in garding the state of their collective disci-
and facts about macro-level funding of the social sciences raised this issue and plines. Almost all agree that the state of
social science researchfrom nationalbodies stated that the "neglect of the social sci- the social sciences in Pakistan is in a
such as the University GrantsCommission ences"in public sector universities...is a depressingly decrepit state. They all agree
and other sources.52 Except for limited matter of great concern. Funds, facilities, that not much researchof any quality takes
evidence a breakdown of institutional stipends, honorarium, etc, provided to place in Pakistan, and the little that is
funding by source has been minimal, as science students and teachers are not undertaken by Pakistani social scientists,
has a breakdown of funding by categories extended to PhD students and their super- is by those who live and work in the west.
of expenditure such as faculty salaries, visors in the faculty of Arts...It is a matter Moreover, they may cite the cases of a few
administrative overheads, actual research of common knowledge that professors of of their colleagues who have produced
expenses, infrastructure, etc. We would faculty of Arts are rarely considered for good quality research in Pakistan while
have liked to know how much funding national awards despite their academic being based here, but will add that this is
goes to social science research compared excellence. These awards indiscriminately largely individual endeavour, and that the
to the natural sciences and technological go to the Science faculty" (Letters to the contribution by the institution where they
research. Unfortunately, we have only the Editor, Dawn, Karachi, May 2, 2001). are located is incidental.
concerns and sentiments and opinions of As far as incentives go, the Ministry of While there is wide agreement for the
many academics, some in written form, Science and Technology had increased the way things are, there is also considerable
others conveyed to us during the inter- allowance for in-service Ph D degree consensus on the reasons. Many would
views for this study. Nevertheless, these holders from Rs 1,500 to Rs 5,000. But, argue that patronage at the private and at
leads are useful for understanding the unfortunately, it has restricted this to the the state level has.distorted the environ-
magnitude of the problem and to under- disciplines of natural sciences only. In ment under which research in the social
stand its seriousness. addition, recently the University Grants sciences takes place, developing a con-
Writing about economic research, but Commission on behalf of the ministry, has formist, if not sycophantic, toadyist,
also addressing a larger problem in the also announceda PhD scholarship scheme. mindset. Others feel that there is a bias
social sciences, Haque and Khan write But again, the scheme is restricted to against a culture of dissent, debate and
that, "there is little funding for economic Engineering, Agriculture, and Animal discovery, brought upon, perhaps due to
research in the country, reflecting the Husbandry. In fact the advertisement state authoritarianismand due to the over-
general lack of investment in education declares that "Arts, Humanities and Social developed nature of the bureaucratic arm
and researchin Pakistan. An academic has Sciences are not included in the scheme". of the state. Other, more simpler reasons
no way of finding funds for what he/she During the course of interviews for this include the fact that the incentive and
or his/her peer group might consider in- study, all of the academics interviewed salary structure in public sector institu-
teresting or necessary for research. The without exception said that the biggest tions is dwarfed by the visible freedom and
only funding available is that which do- problem that they and their departments/ economic incentives in the vibrant private
nors consider necessary for their opera- centres face is due to financial cuts. Some donor andNGO supportedsectors. Clearly,
tions."53 However, this is not a situation said that while their department or centre all these reasons are relevant.
which finds favour with most academics was receiving limited funds, others which There are still other more interesting
and such research is considered 'spuri- were someone's favourite were receiving factors which are all inter-relatedand have
ous'. Naseem write that "while regular far more funds thanrequiredand even then had a bearing on the noticeable deterio-
funding of academic and research institu- were not producing any quality research. ration of the social sciences in Pakistan.
tions are stagnating or declining, consul- While government funds have been For some of the reasons mentioned above,
tancy has emerged as a major growth reduced, donor funded 'projects' have many of the best Pakistani social scientists

3660 Economic and Political Weekly August 31, 2002


have left for other countries causing a Pakistan Economy and Society', Economic a far more representative and effective
and Political Weekly,Vol 35. No 19, 2000. organisation.
haemorrhagingbraindrain.There is hence, 12 This does not seem to be a uniquelyPakistani 33
no community of academics or scholars Haque and Khan, op cit, 1998, p 444.
disease: see M Weiner, 'Social Science 34 Naseem, op cit, 1998, p 423.
left to interact with, to share ideas with, Research and Public Policy in India', 35 Haque and Khan, op cit, 1998, p 443.
few journals and almost no professional Economics and Political Weekly, Vol 14, 36 Haque and Khan, op cit. 1998, p 448.
Nos 37 and 38, 1979. 37 Ibid, p 448.
associations. Moreover, many Pakistani 13 See for example the numerouspapers in S H 38 Ibid, p 448.
social scientists feel that those western Hashmi, op cit, 2001. 39 Naseem, et al, op cit, 1998, p 469.
social scientists who work on Pakistan are 14 This point was emphasisedin exactly so many 40 Haque and Khan, op cit, 1998, p 442.
second rate scholars at third rate univer- words, withoutany prodding,by every single 41 It is worth our while to reproducein full, a
academic interviewed for this study. SecretUniversityGrantsCommissionCircular,
sities, a fact which does not help the 15 This point is based on personal experience No D 1783/2001-IC.V. Government of
Pakistani social science cause either. aftermanyyearsof doing 'independent'(non- Pakistan, Ministry of Education, Islamabad,
Identifying a number of broad encom- institutionally located) research, which was dated October 12, 2001. The subject of the
passing parameters, this paper has pre- broughthome time andagainduringthecourse circular is, 'Pakistani Students in
of this study. 1 visited one universitydepart- Correspondencewith Indians for Academic
sented a large amount of data and evidence ment, one autonomous institute, and various Assistance': "(1) I am directedto say thatone
which only underscores the dismal truth departmentsof the University Grants Com- of thesecurityagencies hasobserveda growing
about the dismal state of the social sci- mission, amongst many other departments/ tendency among the staff members/students
ences in Pakistan. Sadly, all indications centres.At these threeplaces, I was not given of various professional institutions of India
any materialregardingtheiractivities(material andPakistanto communicatein differentfields
suggest that things are likely to get far, far, whichwas availablein publishedformpublicly, of mutual interest; (2) For instance, Imtiaz
worse. 1F2 such as flyers, Annual Reports,etc.) because Ahmed Pannu, a student of Departmentof
I did not representan institution.I was told, Crop Physiology, University of Agriculture,
Notes in so many words, that no one does or.can do Faisalabadhas established illegal links with
research 'on their own', as I said I did, and Indianexperts/organisations;(3) It is requested
[This paperis a shorterversion of a much longer hence they were highly suspicious of me and that all the public/privatesector universities/
piece undertakenfor the Social Science Research my activitiesandfelt thatI could not be trusted educational institutions affiliated, registered
Council(SSRC)in New York.Excellentcomments with publiclyavailablepublishedmaterial.As or recognised by the University Grants
of Itty Abraham have helped in improving an my legitimacy was questioned, I was told to
earlier draft.] Commission/government may kindly be
apply through an institution if I wanted the advisedto instructtheirstaff members/students
1 Fourteenof Pakistan'sbetterknown and most material,although I was told some of it was to follow the government directions and
prolific social scientists (of those based in confidential. See footnote 52 below. immediately dispense with all illegal links
Pakistan)wereinterviewedfortheSSRCstudy. 16 For a social and economic historyof Pakistan with foreign experts/educationalinstitutions;
2 Inayatullah,(writingin the mid-1980s) argues. see. S Akbar Zaidi, Issles in Pakistan's (4) It may also be ensured that materialto be
that of the total number of social scientists Economy, OUP, 1999. exchangedbe firstgotclearedfromtheministry
working in the country, 30 per cent were 17 Naseem, op cit, 1998, p 408. and no links with any foreign experts/
economists, 19 per cent political scientists, 18 Ibid, p 414. educationalinstitutionsshould be established
and 11 per cent historians. Since he includes 19 For a very interestingcontrastwith India, see withoutpriorapprovalof UGC/governmentof
farmoredisciplines in the social sciences than T V Sathyamurthy,'Development Research Pakistan."
we do, this proportionis likely to be much and the Social Sciences in India Since 42 ChrisBayly makean excellent pointregarding
higher,and also, as we show in this paper,far Independence'.DERAPPutblicationsNo 171 the profession of History in Pakistan,which
higher in 2001 than 1983. See. Inayatullah, Norway, January 1984. Sathyamurthywrites is worth quoting at length. He says, 'The
'Social Sciences in Pakistan:An Evaluation', that 'there are indeed very few instances of creation of a separate history for Muslims
in Hashmi, S H (ed), The State of Social research institutes in the social sciences in resultedinthevirtualabandonmentof historical
Sciences in Pakistan, Council of Social Indiathatwere startedwith foreignresources' writing in the futurePakistan.If Islam, rather
Sciences, Pakistan,Islamabad,2001. [This is (p 52), which is in complete contrastwith the thanthehistoricalexperienceof Muslimpeople
a reprint of Conference Proceedings first Pakistani situation. living amongst their Hindu neighbours, was
published in 1989]. 20 Naseem, op cit, 1998, p 413. to be the touchstoneof nationalmemory,then
3 See for example. Naseem, SM, 'Economists 21 lnayatullah, op cit, 2001, p 32. history was itself a valueless category. In
andPakistan'sEconomicDevelopment:Isthere 22 It is importantto point out that not everyone Pakistan, modern history has largely been
a Connection?', Pakistan Development agrees with this position and there are many dropped in favour of the vacuous 'Pakistan
Review, 37.4, 1998; S M Naseem, et al, academics who think that this was a period Studies." C A Bayly, 'Modern Indian
'Conditions of Teaching and Research in of severe civilian authoritarianism. Historiography' in Michael' Bentley,
Economics: Some Preliminary Findings', 23 See Zaidi, op cit, 1998, on this. Companion to Historiography, Routledge,
Pakistan Development Review, 37.4, 1998; 24 Inayatullah,op cit, 2001, p 44. London, 1997, p 683.
N Haque and M H Khan, 'The Economics 25 Qureshi, M N, 'Whither History? The State 43 A Pakistanihistoriantriedto organise a south
Professionin Pakistan:A HistoricalAnalysis', of the Discipline in Pakistan' in Hashmi, op Asian forum of historians in which five
Pakistan Development Review, 37.4, 1998; cit, 2001, p 119. Pakistanis were invited. Two of these five
E A G Robinson, 'The Problemsof Teaching 26 Inthe largerSSRC Report,not in thisshortened happen to be political scientists and one is a
Economicsin Pakistan',Pakistan Instituteof version. sociologist.
Development Economics, monograph, May 27 However, as this paper argues, this criticism 44 Inayatullah,op cit, 1998, p 52.
1967, Karachi. applies to much of what goes underthe guise 45 Hafeez, S, 'Development of Sociology as a
4 Forsome preliminaryideas on this theme, see of academic social science in English in Discipline in Pakistan'in S H Hashmi,op cit,
S A Zaidi, 'The IntellectualCrisis', Economic Pakistan, as well. 2001, p 145.
and Political Weekly, September 26, 1998. 28 Haque and Khan, op cit, 1998, p 447. 46 Haque and Khan, op cit, 1998, p 447.
5 Naseem, op cit, 1998, p 405. 29 In book reviews and review articles, much 47 Haque and Khan, op cit, 198, p 445.
6 Ibid, p 424. criticismis madeof the largepublishinghouses 48 Ibid, p 446.
7 Zaidi, S A, op cit, 1998. for not giving enough attentionto the quality 49 Naseem, op cit, 1998, p 425.
8 Naseem, op cit, 1998, p 426. of texts, both in terms of content/subjectand 50 Inayatullah,op cit, 2001, p 19.
9 The papers by Naseem, op cit, 1998, and in termsof style/presentation.See forexample, 51 Ibid, p 42.
Haque and Khan, op cit, 1998, give ample Zaidi, op cit, 1998, for one of many such 52 Threevisits weremadeto the UniversityGrants
emphasis to this theme. critiques. Commission in Karachiand Islamabad,but I
10 Although very well meaning, even Naseem 30 See for example, Naseem et al, op cit, 1998. was toldall such informationwas 'confidential'
suffers from this problem. See for example for more on the exodus from PIDE. although it is not, and could not be given to
Naseem, op cit, 1998. However, he is not the 31 Naseem et al, op cit, 1998, p 459. anyone,especially me, since 1did not represent
only one: most of the authorsin S H Hashmi, 32 Both Naseem op cit, 1998, and Haque and an institution. See footnote 14, above.
op cit, 2001 have exactly the same sentiments. Khan, op cit, 1998, feel very strongly about 53 Haque and Khan, op cit, 1998, pp 446-47.
I I Zaidi, S A, 'The Business of Giving Advice: thisandhavecriticisedPSDE fornotbecoming 54 Naseem, op cit, 1998, p 428.

Economic and Political Weekly August 31, 2002 3661